Bihemispheric anodal transcranial direct-current stimulation over temporal cortex enhances auditory selective spatial attention.

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Bihemispheric anodal transcranial direct-current stimulation over temporal cortex enhances auditory selective spatial attention.

Exp Brain Res. 2019 Mar 29;:

Authors: Lewald J

Abstract
The capacity to selectively focus on a particular speaker of interest in a complex acoustic environment with multiple persons speaking simultaneously-a so-called “cocktail-party” situation-is of decisive importance for human verbal communication. Here, the efficacy of single-dose transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) in improving this ability was tested in young healthy adults (n = 24), using a spatial task that required the localization of a target word in a simulated “cocktail-party” situation. In a sham-controlled crossover design, offline bihemispheric double-monopolar anodal tDCS was applied for 30 min at 1 mA over auditory regions of temporal lobe, and the participant’s performance was assessed prior to tDCS, immediately after tDCS, and 1 h after tDCS. A significant increase in the amount of correct localizations by on average 3.7 percentage points (d = 1.04) was found after active, relative to sham, tDCS, with only insignificant reduction of the effect within 1 h after tDCS offset. Thus, the method of bihemispheric tDCS could be a promising tool for enhancement of human auditory attentional functions that are relevant for spatial orientation and communication in everyday life.

PMID: 30927041 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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