for people ages 18-50 (full criteria)
Healthy Volunteers
healthy people welcome
at UC Davis
study started
completion around



The purpose of this study is to better understand the neural correlates of higher-order cognition, both in the healthy brain and in schizophrenia, and to determine how these mechanisms are modulated by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) at frontal and occipital scalp sites. Testing the effects of tDCS at these scalp sites on cognitive task performance will help us understand the roles of the brain regions corresponding to these sites during higher-order cognitive processing (language comprehension, cognitive control, and related attention and memory processes). Behavioral and electrophysiological (EEG) measures will be used to assess cognitive performance. The investigator's overarching hypothesis is that stimulating prefrontal circuits with tDCS can improve cognitive control performance, and ultimately performance on a range of cognitive tasks, as compared to stimulating a different cortical region (occipital cortex) or using sham stimulation. This study is solely intended as basic research in order to understand brain function in healthy individuals and individuals with schizophrenia. This study is not intended to diagnose, cure or treat schizophrenia or any other disease.

Official Title

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) Studies of Behavioral and Electrophysiological (EEG) Correlates of Higher-Order Cognition


Schizophrenia, EEG, tDCS, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, cognitive control, language, transcranial direct current stimulation, DLPFC Stimulation, Occipital Stimulation


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18-50

  • Participants must be able to sufficiently speak and understand English so as to be able to understand and complete cognitive tasks.
  • All subjects must have the ability to give valid informed consent.

Inclusion Criteria for Patients with Schizophrenia Only:

  • Diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizophreniform or schizoaffective disorder
  • No medication changes in the prior month
  • No medication changes anticipated in the upcoming month
  • Stable outpatient or partial hospital status
  • Normal IQ (>70; IQ will be measured by administering the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI) test)

You CAN'T join if...

  • Pacemakers
  • Implanted electrical (brain and spinal) stimulators
  • Implanted defibrillator
  • Metallic implants
  • Skin damage or skin conditions such as eczema at the sites where electrodes will be placed
  • Hair styles hindering the placement of electrodes
  • Cranial pathologies
  • Head trauma
  • Epilepsy
  • Mental retardation
  • Any known history of neurological disorders (including epilepsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis (MS), stroke, cerebral palsy, any DSM-5 axis I psychiatric disorder (for healthy control subjects), autism)
  • Uncorrected vision problems that would hinder cognitive testing (this also pertains to subjects with color blindness in tasks where discriminating colored objects/items is necessary for successful performance)
  • Pregnancy
  • Substance dependence in the past six months
  • Substance abuse in the past month


  • Imaging Research Center accepting new patients
    Sacramento California 95817 United States


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, Davis
Learn more or sign up for the study here!
Study Type
Expecting 120 study participants
Last Updated