|Colloquium : Examining the Functional Role of the Prefrontal Cortex in Attentional Bias Acquisition: Evidence from tDCS
Biased attention to threatening information is consistently implicated in the development and maintenance of anxiety pathology. Neurocognitive models of anxiety suggest that biased attention for threat is influenced by both a stimulus-driven threat-detection system, associated with the amygdala, and an attentional control inhibitory pathway, associated with the lateral prefrontal cortex. Consistent with neurocognitive models of anxiety-related selective attention, imaging research has directly implicated the lPFC in the modification of biased attention for threat, however no studies to date have sought to directly assess whether enhancing cortical excitability in the lPFC will also enhance the modification of attentional bias. The principal aim of the present study was to assess the degree to which increasing excitation of the lateral prefrontal cortex would serve to enhance the acquisition of an attentional bias either towards or away from threat in response to an attention bias modification procedure. Participants were delivered either attend threat or avoid threat attention bias modification training while receiving active or sham trans-cranial direct current stimulation to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Results indicate that there was more evidence of an acquired attentional bias in the targeted direction for those in the active tDCS condition than those in the sham condition, consistent with the role of this brain area in facilitating change in patterns of biased attention for threat. These findings hold significant implications for neurocognitive models of threat processing and also highlight possible applied benefits for tDCS to enhance modification of biased attention in clinical interventions.
Bayliss Lecture Theatre, Chemistry, G33
Tue, 13 Aug 2013 13:00
Tue, 13 Aug 2013 14:00
Elizabeth Thompson <[email protected]>
Mon, 12 Aug 2013 10:32
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