Modulating inhibitory control with direct current stimulation of the superior medial frontal cortex

Tzu Yu Hsu, Lin Yuan Tseng, Jia Xin Yu, Wen Jui Kuo, Daisy L. Hung, Ovid J L Tzeng, Vincent Walsh, Neil G. Muggleton, Chi Hung Juan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

137 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The executive control of voluntary action involves not only choosing from a range of possible actions but also the inhibition of responses as circumstances demand. Recent studies have demonstrated that many clinical populations, such as people with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, exhibit difficulties in inhibitory control. One prefrontal area that has been particularly associated with inhibitory control is the pre-supplementary motor area (Pre-SMA). Here we applied non-invasive transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over Pre-SMA to test its role in this behavior. tDCS allows for current to be applied in two directions to selectively excite or suppress the neural activity of Pre-SMA. Our results showed that anodal tDCS improved efficiency of inhibitory control. Conversely, cathodal tDCS showed a tendency towards impaired inhibitory control. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of non-invasive intervention tDCS altering subjects' inhibitory control. These results further our understanding of the neural bases of inhibitory control and suggest a possible therapeutic intervention method for clinical populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2249-2257
Number of pages9
JournalNeuroImage
Volume56
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Inhibitory control
  • Pre-SMA
  • Stop signal task
  • TDCS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neurology

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  • Cite this

    Hsu, T. Y., Tseng, L. Y., Yu, J. X., Kuo, W. J., Hung, D. L., Tzeng, O. J. L., Walsh, V., Muggleton, N. G., & Juan, C. H. (2011). Modulating inhibitory control with direct current stimulation of the superior medial frontal cortex. NeuroImage, 56(4), 2249-2257. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.03.059