Contribution of noninvasive cortical stimulation to the study of memory functions

Brain Res Rev. 2007 Feb;53(2):250-9. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresrev.2006.08.006. Epub 2006 Oct 4.


In the memory domain, a large body of experimental evidence about subsystems of memory has been collected from classic lesion studies and functional brain imaging. Animal studies have provided information on molecular mechanisms of memory formation. Compared to this work, transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial direct current stimulation have made their own unique contribution. Here, we describe how noninvasive brain stimulation has been used to study the functional contribution of specific cortical areas during a given memory task, how these techniques can be used to assess LTP- and LTD-like plasticity in the living human brain, and how they can be employed to modulate memory formation in humans, suggesting an adjuvant role in neurorehabilitative treatments following brain injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / radiation effects*
  • Electric Stimulation / methods
  • Humans
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation*