Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a procedure to polarize human brain. It has been reported that tDCS over the hand motor cortex transiently improves the performance of hand motor tasks. Here, we investigated whether tDCS could also improve leg motor functions. Ten healthy subjects performed pinch force (PF) and reaction time (RT) tasks using the left leg before, during and after anodal, cathodal or sham tDCS over the leg motor cortex. The anodal tDCS transiently enhanced the maximal leg PF but not RT during its application. Neither cathodal nor sham stimulation changed the performance. None of the interventions affected hand PF or RT, showing the spatial specificity of the effect of tDCS. These results indicate that motor performance of not only the hands but also the legs can be enhanced by anodal tDCS. tDCS may be applicable to the neuro-rehabilitation of patients with leg motor disability.
- Motor cortex
- Transcranial direct current stimulation
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas