Polarity-dependent Effects of Biparietal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on the Interplay between Target Location and Distractor Saliency in Visual Attention

Chechlacz, Magdalena; Hansen, Peter C.; Geng, Joy J.; Cazzoli, Dario (2018). Polarity-dependent Effects of Biparietal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on the Interplay between Target Location and Distractor Saliency in Visual Attention. Journal of cognitive neuroscience, 30(6), pp. 851-866. MIT Press Journals 10.1162/jocn_a_01242

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Visual attention allows the allocation of limited neural processing resources to stimuli based on their behavioral priorities. The selection of task-relevant visual targets entails the processing of multiple competing stimuli and the suppression of distractors that may be either perceptually salient or perceptually similar to targets. The posterior parietal cortex controls the interaction between top-down (task-driven) and bottom-up (stimulus-driven) processes competing for attentional selection, as well as spatial distribution of attention. Here, we examined whether biparietal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) would modulate the interaction between top-down and bottom-up processes in visual attention. Visual attention function was assessed with a visual discrimination task, in which a lateralized target was presented alone or together with a contralateral, similar or salient, distractor. The accuracy and RTs were measured before and during three stimulation sessions (sham, right anodal/left cathodal, left anodal/right cathodal). The analyses demonstrated (i) polarity-dependent effects of tDCS on the accuracy of target discrimination, but only when the target was presented with a similar distractor; (ii) the tDCS-triggered effects on the accuracy of discriminating targets, accompanied by a similar distractor, varied according to the target location; and (iii) overall detrimental effects of tDCS on RTs were observed, regardless of target location, distractor type, and polarity of the stimulation. We conclude that the observed polarity, distractor type, and target location-dependent effects of biparietal tDCS on the accuracy of target detection resulted from both a modulation of the interaction between top-down and bottom-up attentional processes and the interhemispheric competition mechanisms guiding attentional selection and spatial deployment of attention.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Gerontechnology and Rehabilitation

UniBE Contributor:

Cazzoli, Dario

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

0898-929X

Publisher:

MIT Press Journals

Language:

English

Submitter:

Angela Amira Botros

Date Deposited:

11 Feb 2019 15:17

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 13:18

Publisher DOI:

10.1162/jocn_a_01242

PubMed ID:

29393718

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.114916

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/114916

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