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Front Psychiatry. 2012 May 10;3:45. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2012.00045. eCollection 2012.

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of the Frontal Eye Fields during Pro- and Antisaccade Tasks.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London London, UK.

Abstract

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been successfully applied to cortical areas such as the motor cortex and visual cortex. In the present study, we examined whether tDCS can reach and selectively modulate the excitability of the frontal eye field (FEF). In order to assess potential effects of tDCS, we measured saccade latency, landing point, and its variability in a simple prosaccade task and in an antisaccade task. In the prosaccade task, we found that anodal tDCS shortened the latency of saccades to a contralateral visual cue. However, cathodal tDCS did not show a significant modulation of saccade latency. In the antisaccade task, on the other hand, we found that the latency for ipisilateral antisaccades was prolonged during the stimulation, whereas anodal stimulation did not modulate the latency of antisaccades. In addition, anodal tDCS reduced the erroneous saccades toward the contralateral visual cue. These results in the antisaccade task suggest that tDCS modulates the function of FEF to suppress reflexive saccades to the contralateral visual cue. Both in the prosaccade and antisaccade tasks, we did not find any effect of tDCS on saccade landing point or its variability. Our present study is the first to show effects of tDCS over FEF and opens the possibility of applying tDCS for studying the functions of FEF in oculomotor and attentional performance.

KEYWORDS:

antisaccade; frontal eyefield; saccade; transcranial direct current stimulation

PMID:
22590461
PMCID:
PMC3349084
DOI:
10.3389/fpsyt.2012.00045
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