Effector-independent reduction in choice reaction time following bi-hemispheric transcranial direct current stimulation over motor cortex

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Title: Effector-independent reduction in choice reaction time following bi-hemispheric transcranial direct current stimulation over motor cortex
Authors: Drummond, Neil M.
Hayduk-Costa, Gabrielle
Leguerrier, Alexandra
Carlsen, Anthony N.
Date: 2017
Abstract: Increased reaction times (RT) during choice-RT tasks stem from a requirement for additional processing as well as reduced motor-specific preparatory activation. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can modulate primary motor cortex excitability, increasing (anodal stimulation) or decreasing (cathodal stimulation) excitability in underlying cortical tissue. The present study investigated whether lateralized differences in choice-RT would result from the concurrent modulation of left and right motor cortices using bi-hemispheric tDCS. Participants completed a choice-RT task requiring either a left or right wrist extension. In forced-choice trials an illuminated target indicated the required response, whereas in free-choice trials participants freely selected either response upon illumination of a central fixation. Following a pre-test trial block, offline bi-hemispheric tDCS (1 mA) was applied over the left and right motor cortices for 10 minutes, which was followed by a post-tDCS block of RT trials. Twelve participants completed three experimental sessions, two with real tDCS (anode right, anode left), as well as a sham tDCS session. Post-tDCS results showed faster RTs for both right and left responses irrespective of tDCS polarity during forced-choice trials, while sham tDCS had no effect. In contrast, no stimulation-related RT or response selection differences were observed in free-choice trials. The present study shows evidence of an effector-independent speeding of response initiation in a forced-choice RT task following bi-hemispheric tDCS and yields novel information regarding the functional effect of bi-hemispheric tDCS.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/38915
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0172714
CollectionPublications en libre accès financées par uOttawa // uOttawa financed open access publications
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