A new study has found out that Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), which is a non-invasive way of stimulating the brain over the Wernicke's area, may lead to new assistive neurotechnologies for the rehabilitation of people with cognitive disorders in future.(ANI)
A new study has found out that Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), which is a non-invasive way of stimulating the brain over the Wernicke's area, may lead to new assistive neurotechnologies for the rehabilitation of people with cognitive disorders in future.(ANI)

Direct current stimulation over brain's Wernicke area can help learning words

A new study has found out that Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), which is a non-invasive way of stimulating the brain over the Wernicke's area, may lead to new assistive neurotechnologies for the rehabilitation of people with cognitive disorders in future.
ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 02:02 PM IST

A new study has found out that Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), which is a non-invasive way of stimulating the brain over the Wernicke's area, may lead to new assistive neurotechnologies for the rehabilitation of people with cognitive disorders in future.

As per the findings published in the journal, Scientific Reports, during stimulation, the active electrode can transmit a positive or negative electrical charge. In the former case, this stimulation is called 'anodal' while in the latter one it's called 'cathodal'.

Researchers believe that anodal tDCS generally leads to depolarization of neurons, which increases the likelihood of their excitation when new information arrives. Cathodal tDCS, on the contrary, suppresses the excitability of neurons, which negatively affects neural functions. However, the work of St Petersburg University scientists has shown that in the case of such complex cognitive functions like speech, this is not entirely true.

The researchers conducted the following experiment. Two groups of participants (24 people each) received cathodal or anodal stimulation over Wernicke's area, the part of the cerebral cortex associated with speech perception. Another group was a control one, in which the subjects received placebo (so-called sham) stimulation which imitates tDCS set-up without delivering actual current to the participant's head.

After that, the subjects studied novel concrete and abstract words, the meaning of which they needed to infer from the context of short stories. Learning effects were assessed at lexical and semantic levels immediately after the training. To attest the so-called memory consolidation effects, known to take place after an overnight sleep, they were also assessed on the next day.

To provide the same conditions for all participants, the scientists had selected very rarely used or outdated concepts (for example an old bag made of oak, birch bark, wood chips) or concepts from other languages for which there was no equivalent in Russian (for example the incomprehensible power of a work of art that deeply touches people). Additionally, the researchers had created novel pseudowords that resembled existing Russian words.

They were created based on real words of the Russian language by changing their final syllables: the first two syllables of the word were preserved and the ultimate segment was changed (for example: 'barbaris' and 'pervenets', i.e. 'barberry' and 'firstborn' were used to create novel pseudoword 'barbanets'). One of the contextual sentences sounded like this: 'Having sensed the characteristic smell, naturalist Gennady understood: there is a barbanets nearby'.

The learning success turned out to be different depending on the type of tDCS and the type of words (abstract/concrete). In the groups with anodal and sham stimulation, the results on abstract semantics acquisition were lower on the second day than on the first one, as may be expected given the natural forgetting.

However, such a decrease was not observed in the cathodal group. Additionally, both stimulation groups were generally more successful in learning than the placebo group. This effect was especially pronounced for abstract semantics after cathodal tDCS.

'Our research has shown that different but overlapping neural mechanisms are involved in the processing of abstract and concrete semantics. We see that the core language areas play a key role in the acquisition of abstract words. Moreover, cathodal direct current stimulation of these areas makes this process more efficient,' says Diana Kurmakaeva, a research associate at the Laboratory of Behavioural Neurodynamics at St Petersburg University and the first author of the article.

Diana Kurmakaeva noted that the results obtained may in the future be useful for developing rehabilitation techniques for people with speech impairments, for example, after brain injuries or strokes. In some cases, such patients retain the ability to operate concrete concepts but are unable to use abstract ones.

Since this information is processed and stored in different ways in the brain, it is important to know the specific areas and techniques for influencing their activity in order to help people recover from injuries. The next stage of the research will be to study the influence of different types of tDCS on another core language structure in the human brain - the Broca's area. It is another important speech centre in the human brain and is primarily linked to speech production.

Follow more stories on Facebook and Twitter

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Speaking on the occasion of National Science Day, Vardhan said it is the problems of the people that should be guiding the intellectual acumen while pursuing research.(Wikimedia Commons )
Speaking on the occasion of National Science Day, Vardhan said it is the problems of the people that should be guiding the intellectual acumen while pursuing research.(Wikimedia Commons )

Science should be solution-based, people-centric: Vardhan

PTI, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 01, 2021 05:02 PM IST
Fundamental and translational science is important but it has to be solution-based and people-centric, Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Sunday.
Close
ISRO's PSLV-C51 carrying Amazonia-1 and 18 other satellites lifts off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on Sunday.(ANI Photo)
ISRO's PSLV-C51 carrying Amazonia-1 and 18 other satellites lifts off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on Sunday.(ANI Photo)

PM Modi’s image, Gita sent to space aboard PSLV

PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 06:24 AM IST
The PM’s picture was engraved on the top panel of the spacecraft Satish Dhawan Sat (SD-SAT) from Chennai-based Space Kidz India (SKI). “This is to show solidarity and gratitude for his (PM’s) Aatmanirbhar initiative and space privatisation,” SKI had said earlier.
Close
Nobel laureate Sir CV Raman the Nobel laureate physicist.(Photo courtesy: Google)
Nobel laureate Sir CV Raman the Nobel laureate physicist.(Photo courtesy: Google)

On National Science Day, here’s all about Raman Effect or Raman Scattering

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shivani, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 04:34 PM IST
The discovery was significant in the field of physics as it gave proof of the quantum nature of light. It revolutionised multiple different domains of science and still forms the basis of varied applications in these fields.
Close
Isro's PSLV-C51, carrying Brazile's Amazonia-1 and 18 other satellites, lifts off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, on Sunday.(PTI Photo)
Isro's PSLV-C51, carrying Brazile's Amazonia-1 and 18 other satellites, lifts off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, on Sunday.(PTI Photo)

'Historic moment': Isro launches 19 satellites with Bhagavad Gita, PM’s photo

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 03:49 PM IST
The Isro mission was built around sending Brazil's 637-kg Amazonia-1 satellite into space, which is the first Brazilian satellite to be launched from India.
Close
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe had an up-close view of Venus when it flew by the planet in July 2020. Some of the features seen by scientists are labeled in this annotated image. The dark spot appearing on the lower portion of Venus is an artifact from the WISPR instrument.(NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Naval Research Laboratory/Guillermo Stenborg and Brendan Gallagher)
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe had an up-close view of Venus when it flew by the planet in July 2020. Some of the features seen by scientists are labeled in this annotated image. The dark spot appearing on the lower portion of Venus is an artifact from the WISPR instrument.(NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Naval Research Laboratory/Guillermo Stenborg and Brendan Gallagher)

Nasa's solar probe sends stunning image of Venus and its terrain

By hindustantimes.com, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 01:25 PM IST
  • The picture shared by Nasa of the onboard Wide-field Imager inside the Parker Solar Probe (WISPR) was originally clicked in July 2020.
Close
PSLV-C51 undergoing a launch rehearsal on Wednesday. (ISRO/Twitter)
PSLV-C51 undergoing a launch rehearsal on Wednesday. (ISRO/Twitter)

ISRO to launch Brazilian satellite on Sunday; first in 2021

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shankhyaneel Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 02:47 PM IST
  • The 637-kg Amazonia-1 will provide remote sensing data to scientists who will need the data from the satellite to monitor deforestation in the Amazon region.
Close
In 2019, Mary Jackson was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal(www.nasa.gov)
In 2019, Mary Jackson was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal(www.nasa.gov)

NASA renames Washington headquarters to honour 'hidden figures' scientist

ANI, Washington
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:03 AM IST
Mary Jackson worked at NASA for 34 years, starting as a research mathematician, and eventually became the agency's first Black female engineer.
Close
In order to infect cells, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, needs to insert itself into the membrane of human cells.(Pixabay)
In order to infect cells, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, needs to insert itself into the membrane of human cells.(Pixabay)

New study uncovers new details of SARS-CoV-2 interactions with human cells

ANI, Washington [us]
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 05:25 PM IST
A new study published in Biophysical Society, introduces new molecular models to show what parts of SARS-CoV-2 are critical for that interaction, revealing new potential drug targets for the infection.
Close
In January, the US government said it will buy 1.25 million additional doses of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals' Covid-19 antibody cocktail.(AP)
In January, the US government said it will buy 1.25 million additional doses of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals' Covid-19 antibody cocktail.(AP)

Regeneron to stop giving placebo in Covid-19 drug trial after 'clear efficacy'

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 05:45 PM IST
The Regeneron treatment is part of a class of drugs known as monoclonal antibodies.
Close
The panorama is composed of 142 individual images stitched together on Earth, NASA said.(NASA/AFP)
The panorama is composed of 142 individual images stitched together on Earth, NASA said.(NASA/AFP)

NASA releases panorama taken by Mars rover

AFP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 03:02 AM IST
The panorama shows the rim of the Jezero Crater where the rover touched down last week and the cliff face of an ancient river delta in the distance.
Close
Representational image. (PTI)
Representational image. (PTI)

Satellite by Indian start-up will not be launched aboard PSLV-C51 mission

PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 08:37 AM IST
For Pixxel, this satellite – called Anand -- was a technology demonstration for a constellation of 30 Earth Observation Satellites that would provide global coverage every 24 hours
Close
This illustration provided by NASA shows a diagram added over the parachute deployed during the descent of the Mars Perseverance rover as it approaches the surface of the planet on Thursday. (AP Photo)
This illustration provided by NASA shows a diagram added over the parachute deployed during the descent of the Mars Perseverance rover as it approaches the surface of the planet on Thursday. (AP Photo)

'Dare Mighty Things': Mars rover's giant parachute carried secret message

AP, Cape Canaveral (us)
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 05:55 AM IST
“Dare Mighty Things” — a line from President Theodore Roosevelt — is a mantra at JPL and adorns many of the centre's walls. The trick was “trying to come up with a way of encoding it but not making it too obvious," Clark said.
Close
Police officials at IISER .(Milind Saurkar/HT Photo)
Police officials at IISER .(Milind Saurkar/HT Photo)

Covid-19: Researchers at IISER develop AI-enabled 'crowd and mask' monitoring

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 22, 2021 06:47 PM IST
Aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19, the 'Crowd and Mask' monitoring system will help in maintaining a minimum three-feet distance among students.
Close
The researchers developed and annotated a reference assembly for white-faced capuchin monkeys (Cebus imitator) to explore the evolution of these traits.(Unsplash)
The researchers developed and annotated a reference assembly for white-faced capuchin monkeys (Cebus imitator) to explore the evolution of these traits.(Unsplash)

Genome study of Capuchin monkey uncovers hints on its large brain, long life

ANI, Washington [us]
PUBLISHED ON FEB 21, 2021 04:19 PM IST
A study led in Canada and the UK sequenced the genome of a Capuchin monkey to uncover new hereditary hints about the evolution of the breed's long life expectancy and enormous minds.
Close
Northrop Grumman launched the 4-ton shipment for NASA in the early afternoon from Wallops, where temperatures were just above freezing.(AP/ Representational photo)
Northrop Grumman launched the 4-ton shipment for NASA in the early afternoon from Wallops, where temperatures were just above freezing.(AP/ Representational photo)

Space station launch honors 'Hidden Figures' mathematician

AP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 21, 2021 08:25 AM IST
Northrop Grumman's Cygnus capsule — dubbed the S.S. Katherine Johnson — should reach the International Space Station on Monday following its launch from Virginia's eastern shore.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP