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Keep calm and carry on: improved frustration tolerance and processing speed by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).

Plewnia C, Schroeder PA, Kunze R, Faehling F, Wolkenstein L - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Recently, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been put forward as an effective tool to modulate CC.With this study, we provide first evidence that, compared to sham stimulation, tDCS to the left dlPFC enhances processing speed measured by an adaptive version of the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task (PASAT) that is typically thwarted by frustration.Together, these data provide first evidence that activity enhancing anodal tDCS to the left dlPFC can support focused cognitive processing particularly when challenged by frustration-induced negative affect.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Neurophysiology & Interventional Neuropsychiatry, University of Tübingen, Calwerstrasse 14, 72076 Tübingen, Germany; Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience, University of Tübingen, Otfried-Müller-Str. 25, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Cognitive control (CC) of attention is a major prerequisite for effective information processing. Emotional distractors can bias and impair goal-directed deployment of attentional resources. Frustration-induced negative affect and cognition can act as internal distractors with negative impact on task performance. Consolidation of CC may thus support task-oriented behavior under challenging conditions. Recently, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been put forward as an effective tool to modulate CC. Particularly, anodal, activity enhancing tDCS to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) can increase insufficient CC in depression as indicated by a reduction of attentional biases induced by emotionally salient stimuli. With this study, we provide first evidence that, compared to sham stimulation, tDCS to the left dlPFC enhances processing speed measured by an adaptive version of the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task (PASAT) that is typically thwarted by frustration. Notably, despite an even larger amount of error-related negative feedback, the task-induced upset was suppressed in the group receiving anodal tDCS. Moreover, inhibition of task-related negative affect was correlated with performance gains, suggesting a close link between enhanced processing speed and consolidation of CC by tDCS. Together, these data provide first evidence that activity enhancing anodal tDCS to the left dlPFC can support focused cognitive processing particularly when challenged by frustration-induced negative affect.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Changes in processing speed as a function of stimulation.Anodal stimulation led to a significant stimulation main effect in the corresponding block x stimulation ANCOVA, driven by shorter ISIs in the stimulation group. Error bars reflect standard errors of the mean.
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pone.0122578.g002: Changes in processing speed as a function of stimulation.Anodal stimulation led to a significant stimulation main effect in the corresponding block x stimulation ANCOVA, driven by shorter ISIs in the stimulation group. Error bars reflect standard errors of the mean.

Mentions: Mean ISIs from the PASAT task blocks and for sham and anodal stimulation groups are depicted in Fig 2. In the baseline block, no significant group difference was found, t(26) = 0.71, p = .48. For the 2x2 ANCOVA model addressing differential effects during the two stimulation blocks, the baseline covariate was highly significant, F(1,25) = 100.95, p<.001, ηp² = 0.80. There was no main effect of block, F(1,25)<1, p = .90. Importantly, a significant main effect of stimulation emerged, F(1,25) = 5.55, p = .027, ηp² = 0.18, driven by shorter ISIs in the anodal stimulation group (2241 ms, SE = 98 ms) than in the sham stimulation group (2303 ms, SE = 97 ms) during the two test blocks. None of the interaction effects yielded significance, ps>.42.


Keep calm and carry on: improved frustration tolerance and processing speed by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).

Plewnia C, Schroeder PA, Kunze R, Faehling F, Wolkenstein L - PLoS ONE (2015)

Changes in processing speed as a function of stimulation.Anodal stimulation led to a significant stimulation main effect in the corresponding block x stimulation ANCOVA, driven by shorter ISIs in the stimulation group. Error bars reflect standard errors of the mean.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4383541&req=5

pone.0122578.g002: Changes in processing speed as a function of stimulation.Anodal stimulation led to a significant stimulation main effect in the corresponding block x stimulation ANCOVA, driven by shorter ISIs in the stimulation group. Error bars reflect standard errors of the mean.
Mentions: Mean ISIs from the PASAT task blocks and for sham and anodal stimulation groups are depicted in Fig 2. In the baseline block, no significant group difference was found, t(26) = 0.71, p = .48. For the 2x2 ANCOVA model addressing differential effects during the two stimulation blocks, the baseline covariate was highly significant, F(1,25) = 100.95, p<.001, ηp² = 0.80. There was no main effect of block, F(1,25)<1, p = .90. Importantly, a significant main effect of stimulation emerged, F(1,25) = 5.55, p = .027, ηp² = 0.18, driven by shorter ISIs in the anodal stimulation group (2241 ms, SE = 98 ms) than in the sham stimulation group (2303 ms, SE = 97 ms) during the two test blocks. None of the interaction effects yielded significance, ps>.42.

Bottom Line: Recently, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been put forward as an effective tool to modulate CC.With this study, we provide first evidence that, compared to sham stimulation, tDCS to the left dlPFC enhances processing speed measured by an adaptive version of the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task (PASAT) that is typically thwarted by frustration.Together, these data provide first evidence that activity enhancing anodal tDCS to the left dlPFC can support focused cognitive processing particularly when challenged by frustration-induced negative affect.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Neurophysiology & Interventional Neuropsychiatry, University of Tübingen, Calwerstrasse 14, 72076 Tübingen, Germany; Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience, University of Tübingen, Otfried-Müller-Str. 25, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Cognitive control (CC) of attention is a major prerequisite for effective information processing. Emotional distractors can bias and impair goal-directed deployment of attentional resources. Frustration-induced negative affect and cognition can act as internal distractors with negative impact on task performance. Consolidation of CC may thus support task-oriented behavior under challenging conditions. Recently, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been put forward as an effective tool to modulate CC. Particularly, anodal, activity enhancing tDCS to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) can increase insufficient CC in depression as indicated by a reduction of attentional biases induced by emotionally salient stimuli. With this study, we provide first evidence that, compared to sham stimulation, tDCS to the left dlPFC enhances processing speed measured by an adaptive version of the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task (PASAT) that is typically thwarted by frustration. Notably, despite an even larger amount of error-related negative feedback, the task-induced upset was suppressed in the group receiving anodal tDCS. Moreover, inhibition of task-related negative affect was correlated with performance gains, suggesting a close link between enhanced processing speed and consolidation of CC by tDCS. Together, these data provide first evidence that activity enhancing anodal tDCS to the left dlPFC can support focused cognitive processing particularly when challenged by frustration-induced negative affect.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus