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Effects of transcranial direct current stimulation over left dorsolateral pFC on the attentional blink depend on individual baseline performance

Raquel London UGent and HA Slagter (2015) JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE. 27(12). p.2382-2393
abstract
Selection mechanisms that dynamically gate only relevant perceptual information for further processing and sustained representation in working memory are critical for goal-directed behavior. We examined whether this gating process can be modulated by anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over left dorsolateral pFC (DLPFC)a region known to play a key role in working memory and conscious access. Specifically, we examined the effects of tDCS on the magnitude of the so-called attentional blink (AB), a deficit in identifying the second of two targets presented in rapid succession. Thirty-four participants performed a standard AB task before (baseline), during, and after 20 min of 1-mA anodal and cathodal tDCS in two separate sessions. On the basis of previous reports linking individual differences in AB magnitude to individual differences in DLPFC activity and on suggestions that effects of tDCS depend on baseline brain activity levels, we hypothesized that anodal tDCS over left DLPFC would modulate the magnitude of the AB as a function of individual baseline AB magnitude. Indeed, individual differences analyses revealed that anodal tDCS decreased the AB in participants with a large baseline AB but increased the AB in participants with a small baseline AB. This effect was only observed during (but not after) stimulation, was not found for cathodal tDCS, and could not be explained by regression to the mean. Notably, the effects of tDCS were not apparent at the group level, highlighting the importance of taking individual variability in performance into account when evaluating the effectiveness of tDCS. These findings support the idea that left DLPFC plays a critical role in the AB and in conscious access more generally. They are also in line with the notion that there is an optimal level of prefrontal activity for cognitive function, with both too little and too much activity hurting performance.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
COMT VAL/MET POLYMORPHISM, HUMAN MOTOR CORTEX, SERIAL VISUAL PRESENTATION, WORKING-MEMORY, PREFRONTAL CORTEX, CORTICAL EXCITABILITY, INITIAL-VALUE, TEMPORARY LOSS, BRAIN, MODULATION
journal title
JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE
J. Cogn. Neurosci.
volume
27
issue
12
pages
2382 - 2393
publisher
MIT PRESS
place of publication
CAMBRIDGE
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000364395500006
JCR category
PSYCHOLOGY, EXPERIMENTAL
JCR impact factor
3.559 (2015)
JCR rank
9/85 (2015)
JCR quartile
1 (2015)
ISSN
0898-929X
DOI
10.1162/jocn_a_00867
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
7145542
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-7145542
date created
2016-03-14 11:00:47
date last changed
2017-01-02 09:57:02
@article{7145542,
  abstract     = {Selection mechanisms that dynamically gate only relevant perceptual information for further processing and sustained representation in working memory are critical for goal-directed behavior. We examined whether this gating process can be modulated by anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over left dorsolateral pFC (DLPFC)a region known to play a key role in working memory and conscious access. Specifically, we examined the effects of tDCS on the magnitude of the so-called attentional blink (AB), a deficit in identifying the second of two targets presented in rapid succession. Thirty-four participants performed a standard AB task before (baseline), during, and after 20 min of 1-mA anodal and cathodal tDCS in two separate sessions. On the basis of previous reports linking individual differences in AB magnitude to individual differences in DLPFC activity and on suggestions that effects of tDCS depend on baseline brain activity levels, we hypothesized that anodal tDCS over left DLPFC would modulate the magnitude of the AB as a function of individual baseline AB magnitude. Indeed, individual differences analyses revealed that anodal tDCS decreased the AB in participants with a large baseline AB but increased the AB in participants with a small baseline AB. This effect was only observed during (but not after) stimulation, was not found for cathodal tDCS, and could not be explained by regression to the mean. Notably, the effects of tDCS were not apparent at the group level, highlighting the importance of taking individual variability in performance into account when evaluating the effectiveness of tDCS. These findings support the idea that left DLPFC plays a critical role in the AB and in conscious access more generally. They are also in line with the notion that there is an optimal level of prefrontal activity for cognitive function, with both too little and too much activity hurting performance.},
  author       = {London, Raquel and Slagter, HA},
  issn         = {0898-929X},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE},
  keyword      = {COMT VAL/MET POLYMORPHISM,HUMAN MOTOR CORTEX,SERIAL VISUAL PRESENTATION,WORKING-MEMORY,PREFRONTAL CORTEX,CORTICAL EXCITABILITY,INITIAL-VALUE,TEMPORARY LOSS,BRAIN,MODULATION},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {12},
  pages        = {2382--2393},
  publisher    = {MIT PRESS},
  title        = {Effects of transcranial direct current stimulation over left dorsolateral pFC on the attentional blink depend on individual baseline performance},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/jocn\_a\_00867},
  volume       = {27},
  year         = {2015},
}

Chicago
London, Raquel, and HA Slagter. 2015. “Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation over Left Dorsolateral pFC on the Attentional Blink Depend on Individual Baseline Performance.” Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 27 (12): 2382–2393.
APA
London, R., & Slagter, H. (2015). Effects of transcranial direct current stimulation over left dorsolateral pFC on the attentional blink depend on individual baseline performance. JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE, 27(12), 2382–2393.
Vancouver
1.
London R, Slagter H. Effects of transcranial direct current stimulation over left dorsolateral pFC on the attentional blink depend on individual baseline performance. JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE. CAMBRIDGE: MIT PRESS; 2015;27(12):2382–93.
MLA
London, Raquel, and HA Slagter. “Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation over Left Dorsolateral pFC on the Attentional Blink Depend on Individual Baseline Performance.” JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE 27.12 (2015): 2382–2393. Print.