Transcranial direct current stimulation enhances propulsion during walking

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Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been shown to improve force generation and control in single leg joints in healthy subjects and stroke survivors. However, it is unknown whether these effects also result in improved force production and coordination during walking. Here we investigated the effect of tDCS using different electrode configurations on the coordinated motor output during walking. In a randomized double-blinded crossover design, 10 healthy subjects walked on an instrumented split-belt treadmill before and after 10 minutes of either uni-hemispheric (standard configuration), dual-hemispheric (one electrode over each hemisphere) or sham primary motor cortex (M1) tDCS. We found that tDCS enhanced the coordinated output during walking as reflected in an increased propulsive impulse. Although increases were observed in both legs only the increase in the leg contralateral to the hemisphere receiving anodal stimulation was significant. These results show that tDCS can improve force generation and coordination during walking. Future studies need to investigate whether tDCS can improve the coordinated output of the paretic leg of stroke survivors and in doing so its contribution to propulsion during walking.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReplace, Repair, Restore, Relieve – Bridging Clinical and Engineering Solutions in Neurorehabilitation - Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on NeuroRehabilitation (ICNR2014), Aalborg, Denmark, 24-26 June 2014
EditorsW. Jensen, O.K. Andersen, M Akay
Place of PublicationAalbolg, Denmark
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-08071-0
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2014
Event2nd International Conference on NeuroRehabilitation, ICNR 2014: Replace, Repair, Restore, Relieve – Bridging Clinical and Engineering Solutions in Neurorehabilitation - Aalborg, Denmark
Duration: 24 Jun 201426 Jun 2014
Conference number: 2

Publication series

PublisherSpringer International Publishing
ISSN (Print)2195-3562


Conference2nd International Conference on NeuroRehabilitation, ICNR 2014
Abbreviated titleICNR
Internet address


  • METIS-308078
  • IR-98212

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