## No Impact of Cerebellar Anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation at Three Different Timings on Motor Learning in a Sequential Finger-Tapping Task

Please always quote using this URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-225477
• Background: Recently, attention has grown toward cerebellar neuromodulation in motor learning using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). An important point of discussion regarding this modulation is the optimal timing of tDCS, as this parameter could significantly influence the outcome. Hence, this study aimed to investigate the effects of the timing of cerebellar anodal tDCS (ca-tDCS) on motor learning using a sequential finger-tapping task (FTT). Methods: One hundred and twenty two healthy young, right-handed subjects (96 females)Background: Recently, attention has grown toward cerebellar neuromodulation in motor learning using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). An important point of discussion regarding this modulation is the optimal timing of tDCS, as this parameter could significantly influence the outcome. Hence, this study aimed to investigate the effects of the timing of cerebellar anodal tDCS (ca-tDCS) on motor learning using a sequential finger-tapping task (FTT). Methods: One hundred and twenty two healthy young, right-handed subjects (96 females) were randomized into four groups (During$$_{sham}$$, Before, During$$_{real}$$, After). They performed 2 days of FTT with their non-dominant hand on a custom keyboard. The task consisted of 40 s of typing followed by 20 s rest. Each participant received ca-tDCS (2 mA, sponge electrodes of 25 cm$$^{2}$$, 20 min) at the appropriate timing and performed 20 trials on the first day (T1, 20 min). On the following day, only 10 trials of FTT were performed without tDCS (T2, 10 min). Motor skill performance and retention were assessed. Results: All participants showed a time-dependent increase in learning. Motor performance was not different between groups at the end of T1 (p = 0.59). ca-tDCS did not facilitate the retention of the motor skill in the FTT at T2 (p = 0.27). Thus, our findings indicate an absence of the effect of ca-tDCS on motor performance or retention of the FTT independently from the timing of stimulation. Conclusion: The present results suggest that the outcome of ca-tDCS is highly dependent on the task and stimulation parameters. Future studies need to establish a clear basis for the successful and reproducible clinical application of ca-tDCS.