Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Cycling Time Trial Performance and Prefrontal Cortex Activation


Background:Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a neuromodulatory tech-nique that delivers low levels of a constant current via scalp electrodes to specificallytargeted areas of the brain. The effects of tDCS on whole-body exercise performance has been of interest in recent literature. The purpose of the current investigation was to investigate if tDCS, administered via Halo Sport, influences time trial performance in trained cyclists, and if changes in exercise performance are associated with prefrontal cortex (PFC) activation and/or muscle oxygenation (SmO2). Methods: Twelve recreationally trained cyclists volunteered to participate in two 10-kilometer time trials fol-lowing 20 minutes of tDCS or a sham condition. Results: T-tests showed there was no significant difference in performance (time to completion) or physiological measures (BLa-, HR, SmO2, PFC oxygenation) between the Halo and sham conditions. Conclusions: These results indicate that the application of tDCS via Halo Sport does not induce changes in exercise performance or related phys-iological parameters during a 10-kilometer cycling time trial.