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See detailDoes change in attention control mediate the impact of tDCS on attentional bias for threat? Limited evidence from a double-blind sham-controlled experiment in an unselected sample
Coussement, Charlotte; Maurage, Pierre; Billieux, Joël UL et al

in Psychologica Belgica (2019), 59(1), 16-32

Neurocognitive models of attentional bias for threat posit that attentional bias may result from a decreased activation of the left prefrontal cortex, and especially of its dorsolateral part (dlPFC ... [more ▼]

Neurocognitive models of attentional bias for threat posit that attentional bias may result from a decreased activation of the left prefrontal cortex, and especially of its dorsolateral part (dlPFC), resulting in an impaired attention control. Consequently, a transient increase of neural activity within the left dlPFC via non-invasive brain stimulation reduces attentional bias among both anxious and nonanxious participants. Yet, it is still unclear whether the impact of dlPFC activation on attentional bias is mediated by improvement in attention control. In this experiment, we sought to test this hypothesis in an unselected sample (n = 20). Accordingly, we adopted a double-blind within-subject protocol in which we delivered a single-session of anodal versus sham transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) over the left dlPFC during the completion of a task assessing attention control. We also assessed its subsequent impact on attentional bias. Neither attention control nor attentional bias did significantly improve following anodal tDCS. Although our results did not support our main hypothesis, we believe the present null results to be particularly useful for future meta-research in the field. We also formulated a series of methodological recommendations for future research aiming at testing the tDCS-induced modification of attentional bias. [less ▲]

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