Modulation of control: Can HD-tDCS targeting the dACC reduce impulsivity?

Ilse Verveer, Aron T. Hill, Ingmar H.A. Franken, Murat Yücel, Josanne D.M. van Dongen, Rebecca Segrave

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: The dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and its neurocircuits are central in impulsivity, and maladaptive dACC activity has been implicated in psychological disorders characterized by high trait impulsivity. High-Definition transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (HD-tDCS) is a non-invasive neuromodulation tool that, with certain electrode configurations, can be optimized for targeting deeper subcortical brain structures, such as the dACC. Objectives: Using behavioural and electrophysiological measures we investigated whether HD-tDCS targeting the dACC could modulate two key components of impulsivity, inhibitory control and error processing. Methods: Twenty-three healthy adults with high trait impulsivity participated in two experimental sessions. Participants received active or sham HD-tDCS in counterbalanced order with a wash-out period of at least 3 days, as part of a single-blind, cross-over design. EEG was recorded during the Go-NoGo task before, directly after, and 30 min after HD-tDCS. Results: HD-tDCS targeting the dACC did not affect inhibitory control performance on the Go-NoGo task, but there was evidence for a delayed change in underlying neurophysiological components of motor inhibition (NoGo P3) and error processing (error related negativity; ERN) after one session of HD-tDCS. Conclusion: HD-tDCS has potential to modulate underlying neurophysiological components of impulsivity. Future studies should further explore to what degree the dACC was affected and whether multi-session HD-tDCS has the capacity to also induce behavioural changes, particularly in clinical samples characterized by high trait impulsivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number147282
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Research
Volume1756
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • dACC
  • Error processing
  • Go-NoGo
  • HD-tDCS
  • Impulsivity
  • Inhibitory control

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