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Increased perseverative errors following high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation over the ventrolateral cortex during probabilistic reversal learning

journal contribution
posted on 01.07.2019, 00:00 authored by Natalia Albein-UriosNatalia Albein-Urios, Henry Chase, Luke Clark, Melissa KirkovskiMelissa Kirkovski, Charlotte Davies, Peter EnticottPeter Enticott
BACKGROUND: The prefrontal cortex regulates behavioural adaptation in response to feedback. However, the causal role of different prefrontal regions remains unclear, based on indirect evidence derived from functional neuroimaging. Neuroimaging studies show dorsomedial prefrontal activation during feedback monitoring, whereas the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex engages during behavioural adaptation (shifting). OBJECTIVE: We used high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation (HD-tDCS) to elucidate the roles of the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC) and the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) in behaviour change, using a probabilistic reversal learning task (PRLT). METHOD: Fifty-two healthy adults were randomly assigned to receive cathodal HD-tDCS to inhibit the vlPFC or the dmPFC versus sham stimulation, prior to completing the PRLT. The outcome measures were the number of perseverative errors and the electroencephalography (EEG) signals of feedback-related negativity (FRN) in the PRLT. We hypothesised that inhibition of the vlPFC would be specifically associated with more perseverative errors and weaker FRNs. RESULTS: We found that vlPFC inhibition was associated with higher perseverative errors compared to sham and dmPFC stimulation conditions. Although there were no statistically significant differences in FRN amplitudes, the effect sizes indicate an association between inhibition of the vlPFC and lower FRN amplitudes. CONCLUSION: Our findings support a causal role of the vlPFC on feedback-based behavioural adaptation, which is critical for adaptive goal-driven behaviour.

History

Journal

Brain stimulation

Volume

12

Issue

4

Season

July-August

Pagination

959 - 966

Publisher

Elsevier

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

eISSN

1876-4754

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2019, Elsevier