Beyond the target area: an integrative view of tDCS-induced motor cortex modulation in patients and athletes

Edgard Morya, Kátia Monte-Silva, Marom Bikson, Zeinab Esmaeilpour, Claudinei Eduardo Biazoli, Andre Fonseca, Tommaso Bocci, Faranak Farzan, Raaj Chatterjee, Jeffrey M. Hausdorff, Daniel Gomes Da Silva Machado, André Russowsky Brunoni, Eva Mezger, Luciane Aparecida Moscaleski, Rodrigo Pegado, João Ricardo Sato, Marcelo Salvador Caetano, Kátia Nunes Sá, Clarice Tanaka, Li Min LiAbrahão Fontes Baptista, Alexandre Hideki Okano*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive technique used to modulate neural tissue. Neuromodulation apparently improves cognitive functions in several neurologic diseases treatment and sports performance. In this study, we present a comprehensive, integrative review of tDCS for motor rehabilitation and motor learning in healthy individuals, athletes and multiple neurologic and neuropsychiatric conditions. We also report on neuromodulation mechanisms, main applications, current knowledge including areas such as language, embodied cognition, functional and social aspects, and future directions. We present the use and perspectives of new developments in tDCS technology, namely high-definition tDCS (HD-tDCS) which promises to overcome one of the main tDCS limitation (i.e., low focality) and its application for neurological disease, pain relief, and motor learning/rehabilitation. Finally, we provided information regarding the Transcutaneous Spinal Direct Current Stimulation (tsDCS) in clinical applications, Cerebellar tDCS (ctDCS) and its influence on motor learning, and TMS combined with electroencephalography (EEG) as a tool to evaluate tDCS effects on brain function.

Original languageEnglish
Article number141
JournalJournal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2019


FundersFunder number
Brazilian Institute of Neuroscience and Neurotechnology13/075593
National Institutes of Health
National Institute of Mental HealthR01MH111896
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeR03 NS054783, U54CA137788/U54CA132378, 1R01NS101362
New York State Department of HealthDOH01-C31291GG
National Research Council
Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo14/101347, 2014/50909-8, 13/101870
Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico465686/2014-1


    • Connectivity
    • HD-tDCS
    • Motor learning
    • Motor performance
    • Motor rehabilitation
    • Neuromodulation
    • Non-invasive brain stimulation
    • Sport
    • TMS-evoked potential
    • ctDCS
    • tsDCS


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