Theta tACS Non-selectively Enhances Visual Working Memory Performance in Schizophrenia Patients (77870)

Session Information:

Session: On Demand
Room: Virtual Video Presentation
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Schizophrenia is a complex neuro-psychiatric disorder that impairs patients’ life-processes. A primary cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia is the deficit in visual working memory (VWM) performance. Impairments in VWM can occur for several reasons, such as poor memory consolidation, fast memory decay, and/or impaired retrieval. Here we modified the visual color change detection task by providing helpful cues either early in the maintenance (early cue), late in the maintenance (late cue), or during retrieval (retrieval cue) phases to pinpoint the cognitive stage(s), responsible for impaired VWM performance in schizophrenia. Furthermore, 6Hz transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) was applied over participants’ right DLPFC and right PPC—a protocol that has been demonstrated to improve VWM in low-performing healthy participants—to assess whether tACS can also improve VWM performance in schizophrenia, and, most importantly, whether such tACS-induced improvement (if any) occurs mostly in the early cue, late cue, or retrieval cue condition. We observed a significant improvement effect from cues in low-performing patients. Specifically, low-performers benefitted equally from both early and late maintenance cues, but not retrieval cues, suggesting a problem with their memory consolidation. In addition, low-performing patients also benefitted from tACS, which created a general boost in VWM performance across all memory stages. High-performing patients, in contrast, did not benefit from cues or tACS. Together, we conclude that poor VWM in low-performing schizophrenia patients can be traced to the maintenance stage due to poor consolidation, and such deficit can be ameliorated both with memory cues and frontoparietal theta tACS.

Prangya Parimita Sahu, Taipei Medical University, Taiwan
Philip Tseng, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00