The effect of transcranial random noise stimulation on learning and overlearning: A study in arithmetic
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Description: Arithmetic or numerical skills has shown to be strongly related to the success of one’s future career and socio-economic status in today’s society (Parsons and Bynner, 2005). Overlearning of arithmetic skills could elaborate further on the understanding of skill acquisition and disorders in which overlearning is impaired, such as dyscalculia (Landerl, Bevan, & Butterworth, 2004; Landerl, Bevan, & Butterworth, 2004; Cohen Kadosh & Walsh, 2007). Whereby overlearning refers to the training of a skill after performance improvement has plateaued. Perceptual overlearning has been associated with a change in the excitation and inhibition (E/I) ratio, as assessed with magnetic resonance spectroscopy (Shibata et al., 2017). The balance between excitation and inhibition controls the temporal organization of neuronal avalanches which can be considered as a robust feature of spontaneous neuronal activity and are approximated by a power law (Shriki et al., 2013). Resting-state (rs) magnetoencephalography (MEG) consists of neuronal avalanches, suggesting that it is a critical state (Shriki et al., 2013). Transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS) of the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) can enhance learning with respect to high-level cognitive functions, namely arithmetic learning (Snowball et al., 2013). However, the behavioural effects of tRNS as a function of learning and overlearning are unknown.