Volunteers sought for brain-training


Australian study aims to test cognition in older folk.


Cognition and memory can start to fade with age, but trans-cranial stimulation may provide an antidote.
Cognition and memory can start to fade with age, but trans-cranial stimulation may provide an antidote.
Colin Anderson/Getty Images

The University of Queensland in Australia is calling on healthy individuals aged between 60 and 75 to participate in a brain training and stimulation study, which could aid in developing strategies to help tackle mental deterioration in a rapidly ageing population.

The study is being carried out by the Attention and Control Laboratory, which has Paul Dux at its helm and is based at the St Lucia campus in Brisbane.

The experiment uses a type of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), which is non-invasive and entails stimulating the brain by applying a weak electrical current through two electrodes attached to the scalp.

Participants will attend eight sessions conducted over three months. During the first, measurements will be taken to ascertain baseline levels of cognition. After this, volunteers will come in for a week of daily brain training and doses of tDCS.

The computerised training tasks are aimed at improving speed of decision-making, memory, and ability to focus on specific tasks, capabilities which diminish with age-related cognitive decline and in conditions such as dementia. Volunteers are followed up in sessions after one and three months to determine if beneficial effects of the experiment persist over time.

This study hopes to gather vital information that may be the first step in maintaining and even augmenting mental acuity in people as they age. To find out more, you can contact the researchers via k.horne@uq.edu.au, or ring 0411 641 079.

  1. https://psychology.uq.edu.au/research/labs-groups/attention-control
  2. mailto:k.horne@uq.edu.au
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