New Paper: Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Accelerates Allocentric Target Detection
Brain Stimulation 6(3) 433-439
J. Medina, J. Beauvais, A. Datta, M. Bikson, H.B. Coslett, R.H. Hamilton.
Previous research on hemispatial neglect has provided evidence for dissociable mechanisms for egocentric and allocentric processing. Although a few studies have examined whether tDCS to posterior parietal cortex can be beneficial for attentional processing in neurologically intact individuals, none have examined the potential effect of tDCS on allocentric and/or egocentric processing.
Our objective was to examine whether transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a noninvasive brain stimulation technique that can increase (anodal) or decrease (cathodal) cortical activity, can affect visuospatial processing in an allocentric and/or egocentric frame of reference.
We tested healthy individuals on a target detection task in which the target – a circle with a gap – was either to the right or left of the viewer (egocentric), or contained a gap on the right or left side of the circle (allocentric). Individuals performed the task before, during, and after tDCS to the posterior parietal cortex in one of three stimulation conditions – right anodal/left cathodal, right cathodal/left anodal, and sham.
We found an allocentric hemispatial effect both during and after tDCS, such that right anodal/left cathodal tDCS resulted in faster reaction times for detecting stimuli with left-sided gaps compared to right-sided gaps.
Our study suggests that right anodal/left cathodal tDCS has a facilitatory effect on allocentric visuospatial processing, and might be useful as a therapeutic technique for individuals suffering from allocentric neglect.
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Transcranial direct current stimulation;
Current density modeling