ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (9): 1398-1408.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.01398

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The application of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in the treatment of substance dependence

LI Xuejiao; ZOU Zhiling   

  1. (Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality (SWU), Ministry of Education; School of Psychology, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China)
  • Received:2015-12-04 Online:2016-09-15 Published:2016-09-15
  • Contact: ZOU Zhiling, E-mail:


Substance dependence is a chronic, prevalent brain disorder that harms not only the individual suffering from it, but also the whole of society. Previous studies indicated that transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can effectively reduce drug craving (a key aspect of dependence) and improve cognitive function by temporarily regulating the excitability of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Several advantages such as very few side effects, user-friendly manipulation and low cost, make the application of tDCS in the field of substance dependence treatment research very attractive and viable, with broad potential and promise. Future studies should continue to determine the best stimulation parameters for different types of drug and other individual differences found between abusers, investigate ways for combining tDCS with other therapeutic methods, and further explore the underlying neural mechanisms of tDCS treatment in substance dependence.

Key words: substance dependence, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), craving