Previous stimulation studies demonstrated that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is involved in threat processing. According to a model of emotional processing, an unbalance between the two DLPFCs, with a hyperactivation of right frontal areas, is involved in the processing of negative emotions and genesis of anxiety. In the present study, we investigated the role of the right and left DLPFC in threat processing in healthy women who also completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). We simultaneously modulated the activity of the right and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex by applying bicephalic transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) before participants completed a modified version of the classic Posner task using threatening and nonthreatening stimuli as spatial cues. Anodal stimulation on the right DLPFC with a simultaneous cathodal stimulation over the left side induced a disengagement bias in individuals with low STAI scores and a facilitation bias in individuals with high STAI scores. Anodal stimulation on the left DLPFC with the simultaneous cathodal stimulation over the right side did not affect threat processing. The findings of the present study provided specific support to the hypothesis that unbalanced activation between left and right hemispheres with enhanced activation of the right DLPFC is critical in early top-down threat processing in healthy individuals.

The effect of bicephalic stimulation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex on the attentional bias for threat: A transcranial direct current stimulation study

Sagliano, Laura;D'OLIMPIO, Francesca;TROJANO, Luigi
2017

Abstract

Previous stimulation studies demonstrated that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is involved in threat processing. According to a model of emotional processing, an unbalance between the two DLPFCs, with a hyperactivation of right frontal areas, is involved in the processing of negative emotions and genesis of anxiety. In the present study, we investigated the role of the right and left DLPFC in threat processing in healthy women who also completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). We simultaneously modulated the activity of the right and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex by applying bicephalic transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) before participants completed a modified version of the classic Posner task using threatening and nonthreatening stimuli as spatial cues. Anodal stimulation on the right DLPFC with a simultaneous cathodal stimulation over the left side induced a disengagement bias in individuals with low STAI scores and a facilitation bias in individuals with high STAI scores. Anodal stimulation on the left DLPFC with the simultaneous cathodal stimulation over the right side did not affect threat processing. The findings of the present study provided specific support to the hypothesis that unbalanced activation between left and right hemispheres with enhanced activation of the right DLPFC is critical in early top-down threat processing in healthy individuals.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11591/377986
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