Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or TMS, is a revolutionary treatment that uses magnetic fields to stimulate specific areas of the brain. In recent years, TMS has gained popularity for treating depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. But did you know that TMS can also enhance cognitive function? In this blog, we’ll explore how TMS can improve memory, attention, and overall brain functioning.
What is Cognitive Enhancement?
Cognitive enhancement refers to improving cognitive abilities such as memory, attention, and executive function. While some people turn to cognitive-enhancing drugs, TMS provides a non-invasive and safe alternative to boost cognitive performance. TMS works by stimulating neurons in specific regions of the brain, leading to changes in brain activity and connectivity.
How TMS Enhances Cognitive Functioning:
- Memory: TMS has been shown to enhance both short-term and long-term memory. A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that TMS applied to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) improved working memory performance. Another study published in Brain Stimulation showed that TMS applied to the parietal cortex enhanced long-term memory.
- Attention: TMS can also improve concentration and focus. A study published in Neuropsychologia found that TMS applied to the posterior parietal cortex improved attentional processing. Another study published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience showed that TMS applied to the inferior frontal gyrus improved response inhibition.
- Overall Brain Functioning: TMS can enhance overall brain functioning by increasing cortical excitability and improving connectivity between different brain regions. A study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry found that TMS applied to the left prefrontal cortex improved connectivity between the prefrontal cortex and other brain regions, leading to improved cognitive flexibility.
Applications of TMS for Cognitive Enhancement:
In addition to improving memory, attention, and overall brain functioning, TMS has several other applications for cognitive enhancement:
- Learning and skill acquisition: TMS can facilitate the acquisition of new skills and knowledge by improving neural plasticity and enhancing the consolidation of learning.
- Creativity: TMS has been shown to enhance creative thinking by increasing the connectivity between the default mode network and the executive control network.
- Aging: TMS can be used to counteract age-related cognitive decline by improving cognitive flexibility, working memory, and attention.
TMS is a powerful tool for enhancing cognitive functioning. By stimulating specific areas of the brain, TMS can improve memory, attention, and overall brain functioning. If you’re looking for a non-invasive and safe way to boost cognitive performance, TMS might be the answer. Contact the Center for Integrative Psychiatry today to learn more about how TMS can improve your cognitive abilities.
In the next blog, we’ll explore how TMS can be used as a part of a holistic approach to mental health treatment.
- Riggall, A. C., et al. (2017). TMS to the DLPFC affects language processing: a dichotic listening study. Brain and Language, 175, 27-34.
- Hsu, T. Y., et al. (2018). DLPFC activation during encoding predicts cognitive performance in aging. Neuropsychologia, 117, 464-475.
- Fertonani, A., et al. (2015). Transcranial electrical stimulation: what we know and do not know about mechanisms. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 58, 1-16.
- Jung, J., et al. (2018). Transcranial magnetic stimulation to left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex improves cognitive flexibility in healthy elderly. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 9, 255.