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Brain stimulation modulates driving behavior.

Beeli G, Koeneke S, Gasser K, Jancke L - Behav Brain Funct (2008)

Bottom Line: Controlled and safe driving depends on the integrity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), a brain region, which has been shown to mature in late adolescence.We show that external modulation of both, the left and the right, DLPFC directly influences driving behavior.Excitation of the DLPFC (by applying anodal tDCS) leads to a more careful driving style in virtual scenarios without the participants noticing changes in their behavior.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Zurich, Institute of Psychology, Division Neuropsychology, Switzerland. s.koeneke@psychologie.uzh.ch.

ABSTRACT

Background: Driving a car is a complex task requiring coordinated functioning of distributed brain regions. Controlled and safe driving depends on the integrity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), a brain region, which has been shown to mature in late adolescence.

Methods: In this study, driving performance of twenty-four male participants was tested in a high-end driving simulator before and after the application of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) for 15 minutes over the left or right DLPFC.

Results: We show that external modulation of both, the left and the right, DLPFC directly influences driving behavior. Excitation of the DLPFC (by applying anodal tDCS) leads to a more careful driving style in virtual scenarios without the participants noticing changes in their behavior.

Conclusion: This study is one of the first to prove that external stimulation of a specific brain area can influence a multi-part behavior in a very complex and everyday-life situation, therefore breaking new ground for therapy at a neural level.

No MeSH data available.


Differences between anodal and cathodal tDCS. Depicted are differences and standard errors (SE) between pre- and post-stimulation driving behavior (POST minus PRE) pooled across the two experimental groups (left DLPFC and right DLPFC stimulation). The p-values indicate the significances of the 'time × condition' interactions for each of the four behavioral variables.
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Figure 1: Differences between anodal and cathodal tDCS. Depicted are differences and standard errors (SE) between pre- and post-stimulation driving behavior (POST minus PRE) pooled across the two experimental groups (left DLPFC and right DLPFC stimulation). The p-values indicate the significances of the 'time × condition' interactions for each of the four behavioral variables.

Mentions: Prior to the statistical analyses, behavioral data of three participants were excluded (right-hemispheric stimulation group: 1, left-hemispheric stimulation group: 2) because these subjects demonstrated extremely high or low values for the parameter "distance to driver ahead" before tDCS stimulation. The remaining data were subjected to repeated-measure ANOVAs with 'time' and 'stimulation condition' as within-subject factors and 'side of stimulation' as between-subject factor. As displayed in figure 1, the analyses revealed 'time × condition' interactions for "distance to driver ahead" [F(1,19) = 4.25, p = 0.05] and "number of speed violations in built-up areas" [F(1,19) = 5.97, p = 0.02]. The same trend was evident for "driving speed" [F(1,32) = 2.83, p = 0.1] and "revolutions per minute" [F(1,32) = 3.21, p = 0.09]. There was no main effect of 'side of stimulation' or an interaction of this between-subject factor with the variables of interest (time, condition) for any of the four variables.


Brain stimulation modulates driving behavior.

Beeli G, Koeneke S, Gasser K, Jancke L - Behav Brain Funct (2008)

Differences between anodal and cathodal tDCS. Depicted are differences and standard errors (SE) between pre- and post-stimulation driving behavior (POST minus PRE) pooled across the two experimental groups (left DLPFC and right DLPFC stimulation). The p-values indicate the significances of the 'time × condition' interactions for each of the four behavioral variables.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2527008&req=5

Figure 1: Differences between anodal and cathodal tDCS. Depicted are differences and standard errors (SE) between pre- and post-stimulation driving behavior (POST minus PRE) pooled across the two experimental groups (left DLPFC and right DLPFC stimulation). The p-values indicate the significances of the 'time × condition' interactions for each of the four behavioral variables.
Mentions: Prior to the statistical analyses, behavioral data of three participants were excluded (right-hemispheric stimulation group: 1, left-hemispheric stimulation group: 2) because these subjects demonstrated extremely high or low values for the parameter "distance to driver ahead" before tDCS stimulation. The remaining data were subjected to repeated-measure ANOVAs with 'time' and 'stimulation condition' as within-subject factors and 'side of stimulation' as between-subject factor. As displayed in figure 1, the analyses revealed 'time × condition' interactions for "distance to driver ahead" [F(1,19) = 4.25, p = 0.05] and "number of speed violations in built-up areas" [F(1,19) = 5.97, p = 0.02]. The same trend was evident for "driving speed" [F(1,32) = 2.83, p = 0.1] and "revolutions per minute" [F(1,32) = 3.21, p = 0.09]. There was no main effect of 'side of stimulation' or an interaction of this between-subject factor with the variables of interest (time, condition) for any of the four variables.

Bottom Line: Controlled and safe driving depends on the integrity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), a brain region, which has been shown to mature in late adolescence.We show that external modulation of both, the left and the right, DLPFC directly influences driving behavior.Excitation of the DLPFC (by applying anodal tDCS) leads to a more careful driving style in virtual scenarios without the participants noticing changes in their behavior.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Zurich, Institute of Psychology, Division Neuropsychology, Switzerland. s.koeneke@psychologie.uzh.ch.

ABSTRACT

Background: Driving a car is a complex task requiring coordinated functioning of distributed brain regions. Controlled and safe driving depends on the integrity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), a brain region, which has been shown to mature in late adolescence.

Methods: In this study, driving performance of twenty-four male participants was tested in a high-end driving simulator before and after the application of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) for 15 minutes over the left or right DLPFC.

Results: We show that external modulation of both, the left and the right, DLPFC directly influences driving behavior. Excitation of the DLPFC (by applying anodal tDCS) leads to a more careful driving style in virtual scenarios without the participants noticing changes in their behavior.

Conclusion: This study is one of the first to prove that external stimulation of a specific brain area can influence a multi-part behavior in a very complex and everyday-life situation, therefore breaking new ground for therapy at a neural level.

No MeSH data available.