Improving emotional prosody detection in the attending ear by cathodal tDCS suppression of the competing channel

Tim Alexander, Keren Avirame, Michal Lavidor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Currently it is assumed that cathodal stimulation (in transcranial direct current stimulation, tDCS) degrades the neural firing rate, and thus it is believed to degrade cognitive performance. Here we challenge this assumption by predicting that under high competition the cathodal stimulation might act as a noise filter, leading to an improved performance. We presented auditory targets with different emotional valence using a dichotic listening paradigm. We found that cathodal, but not anodal stimulation of the right IFG generated better prosody comprehension. Cathodal stimulation in competitive situations, such as the dichotic listening paradigm, can act like a noise filter, and may in fact enhance cognitive performance. This study contributes to understanding the way the IFG is engaged with prosody functions, and explains the cathodal effects of tDCS. This might lead to the development of more efficient brain stimulation protocols.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-55
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Volume508
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Feb 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Israel Academy of Sciences Grant No. 474/06 and an ERC starting grant awarded to ML (Inspire 200512).

Funding

This study was supported by the Israel Academy of Sciences Grant No. 474/06 and an ERC starting grant awarded to ML (Inspire 200512).

FundersFunder number
Seventh Framework Programme200512
European Research Council
Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities474/06

    Keywords

    • Dichotic listening
    • Emotional prosody
    • Lateralization
    • TDCS

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