Contralateral and ipsilateral motor effects after transcranial direct current stimulation

Neuroreport. 2006 Apr 24;17(6):671-4. doi: 10.1097/00001756-200604240-00023.


Transcranial direct current stimulation over the left motor area influenced both contralateral and ipsilateral finger sequence movements in seven healthy adults. Effects for the two hands were reversed: anodal stimulation improved right-hand performance significantly more than cathodal stimulation, whereas cathodal stimulation improved left-hand performance significantly more than anodal stimulation. The results show that stimulating a motor region directly, or indirectly by modulating activity in the homologous region on the opposite hemisphere, can affect motor skill acquisition, presumably by facilitating effective synaptic connectivity. This outcome provides evidence for the role of interhemispheric inhibition in corticomotor functioning, and also has implications for treatment methods aimed at facilitating motor recovery after stroke.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Electric Stimulation / methods*
  • Electrodes / classification
  • Fingers / innervation
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Motor Cortex / physiology
  • Motor Cortex / radiation effects*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance / radiation effects*