Student NameChanoan Sumonthee
Faculty Mentor NameDr. David Clark
CollegeCollege of Medicine
MajorHealth Sciences
Research InterestsNeurorehabilitation and Biomechanics
OrganizationsAlpha Epsilon Delta, UF RecSports, Child Life at Shands
Hobbies and InterestsMiami Heat, Miami Dolphins, Anderson Paak, Kendrick Lamar, Soul music, Cooking, Playing piano

Research Project

Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation and complex walking tasks as therapeutic interventions for age-related decline in balance and cognition

A novel strategy to engage the frontal lobe in order to improve walking and executive function involves the use of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) during complex walking tasks (CWTs), such as obstacle crossing and non-uniform surface walking. These tasks require the individual to plan movements based off visual/sensory input and to adjust and adapt movements subsequently in a variable environment, engaging the neural pathways within the frontal lobe. tDCS is a safe, non-invasive neuromodulation technique that delivers a mild electrical current through the brain, exciting tissue and neurotransmitter activity. Previous studies support preliminary effectiveness at improving cognitive performance, and a few cross-sectional studies suggest it may also be effective for improving walking performance. The aim is to increase walking function, balance confidence and improve working memory of the individual through the tDCS/CWT motor learning protocol. No prior study has yet to investigate the effectiveness of this novel neurorehabilitation method of utilizing tDCS stimulation in conjunction with CWTs.