Recent literature shows great heterogeneity in the reported efficacy of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) as a stand-alone psychiatric treatment. Aiming to increase its efficacy, tDCS has been combined with psychological interventions. Our state-of-the-art overview of such combined treatment trials indicates, however, that these usually do not elicit synergistic clinical effects. We therefore explored more basic mechanisms related to the brain state-dependency of tDCS. Importantly, based on our overview, the efficacy of combined interventions may depend on whether individual patients present with endophenotypes that are implicated in the development and maintenance of psychopathology, such as prefrontal-mediated cognitive dysfunction. We discuss how future studies may contribute to the development of personally-tailored dual active treatments by adhering to the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) framework. RDoC-based mechanistic research may reveal alternative neural circuits that should be functionally targeted by both tDCS and psychological interventions, with promising avenues for clinical psychological science and practice.
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- Mental Disorders
- Psychological Practice
- Research Domain Criteria
- Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation