Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been widely used to modulate cognition and behavior. However, only a few studies have been probing the brain mechanism underlying the effects of tDCS on cognitive processing, especially throughout electrophysiological markers, such as the P3. This meta-analysis assessed the effects of tDCS in P3 amplitude and latency during an oddball, n-back, and Go/No-Go tasks, as well as during emotional processing. A total of 36 studies were identified, but only 23 were included in the quantitative analysis. The results show that the parietal P3 amplitude increased during oddball and n-back tasks, mostly after anodal stimulation over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (p = 0.018, SMD = 0.4) and right inferior frontal gyrus (p < 0.001, SMD = 0.669) respectively. These findings suggest the potential usefulness of the parietal P3 ERP as a marker of tDCS-induced effects during task performance. Nonetheless, this study had a low number of studies and the presence of considerable risk of bias, highlighting issues to be addressed in the future.
- Event-related potential P3 P300
- Inhibitory control
- Working memory