Low-frequency brain stimulation to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex increases the negative impact of social exclusion among those high in personal distress

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is thought to play a key role in the cognitive control of emotion and has therefore, unsurprisingly, been implicated in the regulation of physical pain perception. This brain region may also influence the experience of social pain, which has been shown to activate similar neural networks as seen in response to physical pain. Here, we applied sham or active low-frequency (1 Hz) repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to the left DLPFC, previously shown to exert bilateral effects in pain perception, in healthy participants. Following stimulation, participants played the “Cyberball Task”; an online ball-tossing game in which the subject participant is included or excluded. Compared to sham, rTMS did not modulate behavioural response to social exclusion. However, within the active rTMS group only, greater trait personal distress was related to enhanced negative outcomes to social exclusion. These results add further support to the notion that the effect of brain stimulation is not homogenous across individuals, and indicates the need to consider baseline individual differences when assessing response to brain stimulation. This seems particularly relevant in social neuroscience investigations, where trait factors may have a meaningful effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237 - 241
Number of pages5
JournalSocial Neuroscience
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
  • personal distress
  • repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • social exclusion
  • Social pain

Cite this

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title = "Low-frequency brain stimulation to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex increases the negative impact of social exclusion among those high in personal distress",
abstract = "The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is thought to play a key role in the cognitive control of emotion and has therefore, unsurprisingly, been implicated in the regulation of physical pain perception. This brain region may also influence the experience of social pain, which has been shown to activate similar neural networks as seen in response to physical pain. Here, we applied sham or active low-frequency (1 Hz) repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to the left DLPFC, previously shown to exert bilateral effects in pain perception, in healthy participants. Following stimulation, participants played the “Cyberball Task”; an online ball-tossing game in which the subject participant is included or excluded. Compared to sham, rTMS did not modulate behavioural response to social exclusion. However, within the active rTMS group only, greater trait personal distress was related to enhanced negative outcomes to social exclusion. These results add further support to the notion that the effect of brain stimulation is not homogenous across individuals, and indicates the need to consider baseline individual differences when assessing response to brain stimulation. This seems particularly relevant in social neuroscience investigations, where trait factors may have a meaningful effect.",
keywords = "dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, personal distress, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, social exclusion, Social pain",
author = "Fitzgibbon, {Bernadette Mary} and Melissa Kirkovski and Bailey, {Neil Wayne} and Thomson, {Richard Hilton} and Naomi Eisenberger and Enticott, {Peter Gregory} and Paul Fitzgerald",
year = "2017",
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language = "English",
volume = "12",
pages = "237 -- 241",
journal = "Social Neuroscience",
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AU - Fitzgibbon, Bernadette Mary

AU - Kirkovski, Melissa

AU - Bailey, Neil Wayne

AU - Thomson, Richard Hilton

AU - Eisenberger, Naomi

AU - Enticott, Peter Gregory

AU - Fitzgerald, Paul

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is thought to play a key role in the cognitive control of emotion and has therefore, unsurprisingly, been implicated in the regulation of physical pain perception. This brain region may also influence the experience of social pain, which has been shown to activate similar neural networks as seen in response to physical pain. Here, we applied sham or active low-frequency (1 Hz) repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to the left DLPFC, previously shown to exert bilateral effects in pain perception, in healthy participants. Following stimulation, participants played the “Cyberball Task”; an online ball-tossing game in which the subject participant is included or excluded. Compared to sham, rTMS did not modulate behavioural response to social exclusion. However, within the active rTMS group only, greater trait personal distress was related to enhanced negative outcomes to social exclusion. These results add further support to the notion that the effect of brain stimulation is not homogenous across individuals, and indicates the need to consider baseline individual differences when assessing response to brain stimulation. This seems particularly relevant in social neuroscience investigations, where trait factors may have a meaningful effect.

AB - The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is thought to play a key role in the cognitive control of emotion and has therefore, unsurprisingly, been implicated in the regulation of physical pain perception. This brain region may also influence the experience of social pain, which has been shown to activate similar neural networks as seen in response to physical pain. Here, we applied sham or active low-frequency (1 Hz) repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to the left DLPFC, previously shown to exert bilateral effects in pain perception, in healthy participants. Following stimulation, participants played the “Cyberball Task”; an online ball-tossing game in which the subject participant is included or excluded. Compared to sham, rTMS did not modulate behavioural response to social exclusion. However, within the active rTMS group only, greater trait personal distress was related to enhanced negative outcomes to social exclusion. These results add further support to the notion that the effect of brain stimulation is not homogenous across individuals, and indicates the need to consider baseline individual differences when assessing response to brain stimulation. This seems particularly relevant in social neuroscience investigations, where trait factors may have a meaningful effect.

KW - dorsolateral prefrontal cortex

KW - personal distress

KW - repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation

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KW - Social pain

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