Prefrontal Multielectrode Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Modulates Performance and Neural Activity Serving Visuospatial Processing

Yasra Arif, Rachel K. Spooner, Alex I. Wiesman, Amy L. Proskovec, Michael T. Rezich, Elizabeth Heinrichs-Graham, Tony W. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is known to play a critical role in visuospatial attention and processing, but the relative contribution of the left versus right DLPFC remains poorly understood. We applied multielectrode transcranial direct-current stimulation (ME-tDCS) to the left and right DLPFC to investigate its net impact on behavioral performance and population-level neural activity. The primary hypothesis was that significant laterality effects would be observed in regard to behavior and neural oscillations. Twenty-five healthy adults underwent three visits (left, right, and sham ME-tDCS). Following stimulation, participants completed a visuospatial processing task during magnetoencephalography (MEG). Statistically significant oscillatory events were imaged, and time series were then extracted from the peak voxels of each response. Behavioral findings indicated differences in reaction time and accuracy, with left DLPFC stimulation being associated with slower responses and decreased accuracy compared to right stimulation. Left DLPFC stimulation was also associated with increases in spontaneous theta and decreases in gamma within occipital cortices relative to both right and sham stimulation, while connectivity among DLPFC and visual cortices was generally increased contralateral to stimulation. These data suggest spectrally specific modulation of spontaneous cortical activity at the network-level by ME-tDCS, with distinct outcomes based on the laterality of stimulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4847-4857
Number of pages11
JournalCerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991)
Volume30
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 30 2020

Keywords

  • laterality effects
  • magnetoencephalography
  • neural oscillations
  • spontaneous activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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