The Impact of Cognitive Load on the Spatial Deployment of Visual Attention: Testing the Role of Interhemispheric Balance With Biparietal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

Paladini, Rebecca E.; Wieland, Fluri A. M.; Naert, Lien; Bonato, Mario; Mosimann, Urs P.; Nef, Tobias; Müri, René M.; Nyffeler, Thomas; Cazzoli, Dario (2019). The Impact of Cognitive Load on the Spatial Deployment of Visual Attention: Testing the Role of Interhemispheric Balance With Biparietal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation. Frontiers in neuroscience, 13(1391), p. 1391. Frontiers Research Foundation 10.3389/fnins.2019.01391

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In healthy individuals, increasing cognitive load induces an asymmetric deployment of visuospatial attention, which favors the right visual space. To date, the neural mechanisms of this left/right attentional asymmetry are poorly understood. The aim of the present study was thus to investigate whether a left/right asymmetry under high cognitive load is due to a shift in the interhemispheric balance between the left and right posterior parietal cortices (PPCs), favoring the left PPC. To this end, healthy participants completed a visuospatial attention detection task under low and high cognitive load, whilst undergoing biparietal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Three different tDCS conditions were applied in a within-subjects design: sham, anodal left/cathodal right, and cathodal left/anodal right stimulation. The results revealed a left/right attentional asymmetry under high cognitive load in the sham condition. This asymmetry disappeared during cathodal left/anodal right tDCS, yet was not influenced by anodal left/cathodal right tDCS. There were no left/right asymmetries under low cognitive load in any of the conditions. Overall, these findings demonstrate that attentional asymmetries under high cognitive load can be modulated in a polarity-specific fashion by means of tDCS. They thus support the assumption that load-related asymmetries in visuospatial attention are influenced by interhemispheric balance mechanisms between the left and right PPCs.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > DCR Unit Sahli Building > Forschungsgruppe Neurologie
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > Forschungsbereich Pavillon 52 > Forschungsgruppe Perzeption und Okulomotorik
10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Gerontechnology and Rehabilitation
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology
10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research

UniBE Contributor:

Paladini, Rebecca Elise; Mosimann, Urs Peter; Nef, Tobias; Müri, René Martin; Nyffeler, Thomas and Cazzoli, Dario

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

1662-4548

Publisher:

Frontiers Research Foundation

Language:

English

Submitter:

Angela Amira Botros

Date Deposited:

04 Feb 2020 13:08

Last Modified:

23 Dec 2020 01:30

Publisher DOI:

10.3389/fnins.2019.01391

PubMed ID:

31998062

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.138771

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/138771

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