Attention and Memory Skills Training Research Study

This focus of this study is to evaluate whether transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) improves attention and memory skills. We are interested in learning more about how well it works and who finds the training helpful. Participants complete attention and memory exercises on a computer while they receive tDCS or a comparison. TDCS is a safe, non-invasive procedure that applies mild electrical stimulation to the brain. Participants have an equal chance of being assigned to receive either tDCS or a comparison that mimics the procedure. After working on the computer, participants talk with an instructor about strategies to use attention and memory skills effectively in everyday life.

Training is offered 2-3 times a week. Each session lasts 2 hours. Participants complete 48 training sessions. In addition to the training sessions, there are 6 testing sessions that last 2-5 hours each. Testing sessions include: interviews, questionnaires, paper and pencil tasks, computer tasks, and demonstrations of everyday activities. Eligible individuals have a diagnosis of Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder, are between the ages of 18-60, are fluent in English, are not abusing substances, do not have a physical health condition that is incompatible with tDCS, are able to participate in a group activity, and do not have a history of brain injury or neurological condition that affects brain function.

All sessions are completed at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System. Participants are paid for each session. Participants who complete all sessions earn $1,245. To learn more, contact Tasha Nienow, PhD, LP at 612-629-7363. (Posted 12-11-2020)