Anodal tDCS targeting the right orbitofrontal cortex enhances facial expression recognition

Journal article


Willis, Megan L., Murphy, Jillian M., Ridley, Nicole J. and Vercammen, Ans. (2015) Anodal tDCS targeting the right orbitofrontal cortex enhances facial expression recognition. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 10(12), pp. 1677 - 1683. https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsv057
AuthorsWillis, Megan L., Murphy, Jillian M., Ridley, Nicole J. and Vercammen, Ans
Abstract

The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) has been implicated in the capacity to accurately recognise facial expressions. The aim of the current study was to determine if anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) targeting the right OFC in healthy adults would enhance facial expression recognition, compared with a sham condition. Across two counterbalanced sessions of tDCS (i.e. anodal and sham), 20 undergraduate participants (18 female) completed a facial expression labelling task comprising angry, disgusted, fearful, happy, sad and neutral expressions, and a control (social judgement) task comprising the same expressions. Responses on the labelling task were scored for accuracy, median reaction time and overall efficiency (i.e. combined accuracy and reaction time). Anodal tDCS targeting the right OFC enhanced facial expression recognition, reflected in greater efficiency and speed of recognition across emotions, relative to the sham condition. In contrast, there was no effect of tDCS to responses on the control task. This is the first study to demonstrate that anodal tDCS targeting the right OFC boosts facial expression recognition. This finding provides a solid foundation for future research to examine the efficacy of this technique as a means to treat facial expression recognition deficits, particularly in individuals with OFC damage or dysfunction.

Year2015
JournalSocial Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Journal citation10 (12), pp. 1677 - 1683
ISSN1749-5016
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsv057
Page range1677 - 1683
Research GroupSchool of Philosophy
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https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/87w08/anodal-tdcs-targeting-the-right-orbitofrontal-cortex-enhances-facial-expression-recognition

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