Boosting plasticity in elderly participants with non-invasive brain stimulation
The central nervous system is remarkably adaptive and continually changing. These neuronal changes (neuroplasticity) allow for the acquisition of new skills, the retention of memories, and even the recovery from brain injury. This study will assess whether the artificial induction of sleep-related brain activity (activity thought critical to the consolidation process) modulates the consolidation of neuroplasticity in the motor region of the brain (the motor cortex). The results from this study may provide a novel means of improving neuroplasticity induction in the elderly brain, with implications for the future rehabilitation of those recovering from brain injury (e.g., stroke).
Participants will be asked to partake in two experimental sessions (with approximately one week between successive sessions). Each session will last approximately 2 hours. Within each session, participants can expect to receive transcranial magnetic stimulation, transcranial alternating current stimulation, and electroencephalography. Testing will take place at the Queensland Brain Institute (Building 79) at the University of Queensland, St Lucia. This experiment will continue to run until December 2017.
Ages 65+ years.
No neurological conditions.
No serious head injury/loss of consciousness.
No implanted devices (e.g., pacemaker).
No personal/family history of seizure or epilepsy.
No neuroactive medications.
Dr Martin Sale