The Effect of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Rating of
Perceived Exertion: A Systematic Review of The Literature
Introduction: The rating of perceived exertion (RPE) is a widely used
method for monitoring the load during training, as it provides insight
into the subjective intensity of effort experienced during exercises.
Considering the role of brain in monitoring and perception of the
effort, several studies explored the effect of transcranial direct
current stimulation (tDCS) on RPE in different populations. The aim of
current study is to review the studies investigated the effect of tDCS
on RPE in three groups including healthy untrained people, physically
active persons and athletes. Method: Nine databases were searched for
papers assessing the effect of tDCS on RPE. The data of included studies
were extracted and methodological quality examined using the risk of
bias 2 (ROB2) tool. Thirty-three studies met the inclusion criteria.
Results: According to the meta-analysis, active a-tDCS significantly
decreased the RPE compared to the sham-stimulation. The a-tDCS could
decrease the RPE when it was applied over M1 or DLPF. Regarding the
measurement tool, Borg’s scale 6-20 and OMNI scale could show an
improvement in RPE scale. Conclusion: A-tDCS is a promising technique
that can decrease improve the RPE. M1 and DLPFC are suggested as the
target area of stimulation. From the tools that measure the RPE, Borg’s
RPE 6-20 and OMNI scale could better show the effect of a-tDCS.