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2018 JCR, Web of Science Group 2019

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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Hum. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2019.00297

Transcranial direct current stimulation over dorsolateral prefrontal cortex modulates risk-attitude in motor decision-making

  • 1New York University, United States
  • 2Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Japan
  • 3The University of Tokyo, Japan
  • 4Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), Japan
  • 5Hiroshima University, Japan

Humans often face situations requiring a decision about where to throw an object or when to respond to a stimulus under risk. Several behavioral studies have shown that such motor decisions can be suboptimal, which results from a cognitive bias toward risk-seeking behavior. However, brain regions involved in risk-attitude of motor decision-making remain unclear. Here we investigated the role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in risky motor decisions using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). The experiment comprised a selective timing task requiring participants to make a continuous decision about the timing of their response under the risk of no rewards. The participants performed this task twice in a day: before and while receiving either anodal stimulation over the right DLPFC with cathodal stimulation over the left DLPFC (20 min, 2 mA), cathodal stimulation over the right DLPFC with anodal stimulation over the left DLPFC, or sham stimulation. In line with previous studies, their strategies before the stimulation were biased toward risk-seeking. During anodal stimulation over right DLPFC with cathodal stimulation over left DLPFC, participants showed more a conservative strategy to avoid the risk of no rewards. The additional experiment confirmed that tDCS did not affect the ability of timing control regarding the time intervals at which they aimed to respond. These results suggest a potential role for the DLPFC in modulating action selection in motor decision-making under risk.

Keywords: Aim point, Inhibitory Control, reward function, risk-taking behavior, Experience-based decision making, non-invasive brain stimulation

Received: 25 Aug 2018; Accepted: 12 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Ota, Shinya and Kudo. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Dr. Keiji Ota, New York University, New York City, United States, keiji.ota@nyu.edu
Dr. Kazutoshi Kudo, The University of Tokyo, Bunkyō, 113-8654, Tōkyō, Japan, kudo@idaten.c.u-tokyo.ac.jp