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© 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Public and academic debate on the use of noninvasive brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) as cognitive enhancement proper is on the rise. Critically, the use of such a new approach is contingent on the evidence of its safety, beneficial effects, and its cost-to-benefit ratio at the individual and societal levels. In this chapter we review the basic mechanisms and physiological effects of tDCS, as well as its effects on human cognition across the developmental spectrum in children, adults, and the elderly, in sickness and in health. Then we highlight the parameters that could be further optimized for more effective cognitive enhancement. Finally, we present some of the stimulating and open questions on the future use of tDCS for cognitive enhancement.

Original publication





Book title

Cognitive Enhancement: Pharmacologic, Environmental and Genetic Factors

Publication Date



307 - 341