Bi-frontal direct current stimulation affects delay discounting choices

David Hecht, Vincent Walsh, Michal Lavidor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


In delay discounting tasks, participants decide between receiving a certain amount of money now or a larger sum sometime in the future. This study investigated the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation on delay discounting. Participants made delay discounting choices while receiving a bi-frontal stimulation of right-hemisphere anodal/left-hemisphere cathodal, left-hemisphere anodal/right-hemisphere cathodal, and sham stimulation, in three separate sessions. When the difference between the alternatives was 10% or more, participants generally preferred to wait for the larger sum. Nevertheless, there were more choices of smaller "immediate" gains, instead of the larger delayed options, when the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) was facilitated and the right DLPFC inhibited, compared to the sham stimulation. These observations indicate the significant role of the prefrontal cortex in delay discounting choices, and demonstrate that increased left frontal activation combined with decreased right frontal activation can alter decision-making by intensifying a tendency to choose immediate gains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-11
Number of pages5
JournalCognitive Neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
E-mail: The authors are members of the EU Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN-LAN grant PITN-G-2008-214570) funded under Framework 7.


  • Brain stimulation
  • Decision-making
  • Delay discounting
  • Frontal cortex
  • Intertemporal choice
  • tDCS


Dive into the research topics of 'Bi-frontal direct current stimulation affects delay discounting choices'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this