Modulating behavioral inhibition by tDCS combined with cognitive training
Cognitive training is an effective tool to improve a variety of cognitive functions, and a small number of studies have now shown that brain stimulation accompanying these training protocols can enhance their effects. In the domain of behavioral inhibition, little is known about how training can affect this skill. As for transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), it was previously found that stimulation over the right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG) facilitates behavioral inhibition performance and modulates its electrophysiological correlates. This study aimed to investigate this behavioral facilitation in the context of a learning paradigm by giving tDCS over rIFG repetitively over four consecutive days of training on a behavioral inhibition task (stop signal task (SST)). Twenty-two participants took part; ten participants were assigned to receive anodal tDCS (1.5 mA, 15 min), 12 were assigned to receive training but not active stimulation. There was a significant effect of training on learning and performance in the SST, and the integration of the training and rIFG–tDCS produced a more linear learning slope. Better performance was also found in the active stimulation group. Our findings show that tDCS-combined cognitive training is an effective tool for improving the ability to inhibit responses. The current study could constitute a step toward the use of tDCS and cognitive training as a therapeutic tool for cognitive control impairments in conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or schizophrenia.
KeywordstDCS Cognitive training Behavioral inhibition rIFG Stop signal task
TD, VW, and ML are members of the Marie Curie ITN-LAN network funded by the EC. LJ and ML are supported by an ERC start-up grant awarded to ML. VW is supported a Royal Society Industry Fellow.
- Baribeau J, Ethier M, Braun C (1989) A neurophysiological assessment of selective attention before and after cognitive remediation in patients with severe closed head injury. J Neurol Rehabil 3:71–92Google Scholar
- Ben-Yishay Y, Piasetsky EB, Rattock J (1987) A systematic method for ameliorating disorders in basic attention. In: Meyer MJ, Benton AL, Diller L (eds) Neuropsychological rehabilitation. Churchill, Edinburgh, pp 165–181Google Scholar
- Eagle DM, Baunez C, Hutcheson DM, Lehmann O, Shah AP, Robbins TW (2008) Stop-signal reaction-time task performance: role of prefrontal cortex and subthalamic nucleus cereb. Cortex 18:178–188Google Scholar
- Ethier M, Braun CMJ, Baribeau JMC (1989) Computer-dispensed cognitive–perceptual training of closed head injury patients after spontaneous recovery. Study 1: speeded tasks. Can J Rehabil 2:223–233Google Scholar
- Jacobson L, Ezra A, Berger U, Lavidor M (2012) Modulating oscillatory brain activity correlates of behavioral inhibition using transcranial direct current stimulation. Clin Neurophysiol 123:979–984Google Scholar
- Logan GD, Burkell J (1986) Dependence and independence in responding to double stimulation: a comparison of stop, change, and dual-task paradigms. J Exp Psychol 12:549–563Google Scholar
- Mateer CA, Sohlberg MM, Yougman P (1990) The management of acquired attention and memory disorders following mild closed head injury. In: Wood R (ed) Cognitive rehabilitation in perspective. Taylor & Francis, London, pp 68–95Google Scholar
- Raskin S (1998) Investigation of P300 as a measure of efficacy of cognitive rehabilitation. Paper presented at the 26th Annual International Neuropsychological Society Conference, Honolulu, HawaiiGoogle Scholar
- Raskin S, Mateer CA (1993) Cognitive rehabilitation of the functional reading deficits following traumatic brain injury. Paper presented at the meeting of the American college of Rehabilitation Medicine, Denver, COGoogle Scholar
- Sivak M, Hill CS, Henson DL, Butler BP, Silber SM, Olson PL (1984) Improved driving performance following perceptual training in persons with brain damage. Arch Physic Med Rehabil 65:163–167Google Scholar