Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on the Recognition of Bodily Emotions from Point-Light Displays
Swinnen, Stephan P.
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Perceiving human motion, recognizing actions, and interpreting emotional body language are tasks we perform daily and which are supported by a network of brain areas including the human posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS). Here, we applied transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) with anodal (excitatory) or cathodal (inhibitory) electrodes mounted over right pSTS (target) and orbito-frontal cortex (reference) while healthy participants performed a bodily emotion recognition task using biological motion point-light displays (PLDs). Performance (accuracy and reaction times) was also assessed on a control task which was matched to the emotion recognition task in terms of cognitive and motor demands. Each subject participated in two experimental sessions, receiving either anodal or cathodal stimulation, which were separated by one week to avoid residual effects of previous stimulations. Overall, tDCS brain stimulation did not affect the recognition of emotional states from PLDs. However, when emotions with a negative or positive–neutral emotional valence were analyzed separately, effects of stimulation were shown for recognizing emotions with a negative emotional valence (sadness and anger), indicating increased recognition performance when receiving anodal (excitatory) stimulation compared to cathodal (inhibitory) stimulation over pSTS. No stimulation effects were shown for the recognition of emotions with positive–neutral emotional valences. These findings extend previous studies showing structure–function relationships between STS and biological motion processing from PLDs and provide indications that stimulation effects may be modulated by the emotional valence of the stimuli Show more
Journal / seriesFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Pages / Article No.
PublisherFrontiers Research Foundation
SubjectAutism; Emotion recognition; Neuromodulation; Point-light displays; Superior temporal sulcus; Transcranial direct current stimulation
Organisational unit03963 - Wenderoth, Nicole
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