Stimulating the Left Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Improves Decision Making

[Speaker] He, Qinghua:1
[Co-author] Chen, Mei:1
1:Southwest University (China (People's Republic of China))

The aim of the present study was to directly investigate the causal role of the left DLPFC in performing the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) and Inter-Temporal Choice (ITC) task. Forty-one healthy male college students were randomly assigned to either High-definition Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) over the left DLPFC region or sham stimulation. Results suggested that the tDCS group made better decisions on both IGT and ITC task. In the IGT, the tDCS group exhibited a learning advantage compared with the sham group as suggested by a lower learning rate/recency parameter. The tDCS group also showed a lower delay discount rate (k) in the ITC than the sham group. We argue that stimulating the left DLPFC led to improved impulse control and lengthening of long term horizon both in the past and in the future. Our results have potential clinical implications in the treatment of disorders inflicted with poor decision-making.
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