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Publication Detail
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) Facilitates Decision Making in a Probability Guessing Task
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Article
  • Authors:
    Hecht D, Walsh V, Lavidor M
  • Journal:
    Journal of Neuroscience
  • Status:
    Submitted
  • Print ISSN:
    0270-6474
Abstract
In a random sequence of binary events where one alternative occurs more often that the other, humans tend to guess which of the two alternatives will occur next by trying to match the frequencies of previous occurrences. Based on split-brain and unilateral damaged patients it has been proposed that the left hemisphere (LH) tends to match the frequencies, while the right hemisphere (RH) tends towards maximizing and always choosing the most frequent alternative. The current study used transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to test this hemispheric asymmetry hypothesis by stimulating the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of each hemisphere and simultaneously inhibiting the corresponding region in the homotopic hemisphere, while participants were engaged in a probability guessing task. Results showed no difference in strategy between the three groups (RH anodal/LH cathodal, LH anodal/RH cathodal, no stimulation) as participants predominantly matched the frequencies of the two alternatives. However, when anodal tDCS was applied to the LH and cathodal tDCS applied to the RH, subjects became quicker to select the most Frequency Matching strategy. This finding is in line with previous evidence on the involvement of the LH in probabilistic learning and reasoning and adds to a number of demonstration of anodal tDCS leading to some behavioural enhancement or change in bias.
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