This pilot study investigated the feasibility of treating people suffering from both post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and poor working memory by employing a combination of computerized working memory training and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). After treatment, all four participants showed clinically significant improvements on a range of cognitive and emotional performance measures. Moreover, these improvements were accompanied by theoretically significant neurophysiological changes between pre- and post-treatment electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings. Specifically, the P3a component of participants’ event related potentials (ERP) in response to novelty stimuli, characteristically abnormal in this clinical population, shifted significantly toward database norms. So, participants’ initially slow alpha peak frequency (APF), theorized to underlie impaired cognitive processing abilities, also increased in both frequency and amplitude as a result of treatment. On the basis of these promising results, more extensive controlled studies are warranted.
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)
- working memory training