Transcranial direct current stimulation of default mode network parietal nodes decreases negative mind-wandering about the past.
Mind-wandering is a cognitive process in which people spontaneously have thoughts that are unrelated to their current activities. The types of mind-wandering thoughts that people have when affected by a negative mood resemble thoughts associated with mood disorders (e.g., negative thoughts about the past). Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a form of noninvasive brain stimulation that can modulate cognition and affect in healthy and clinical populations. Ninety participants received either excitatory, inhibitory, or sham tDCS to bilateral inferior parietal lobe (IPL) nodes of the default mode network (DMN) to assess changes in maladaptive mind-wandering following criticism. tDCS did not change mind-wandering frequency after hearing criticism, but it did change what people mind-wandered about. Specifically, cathodal stimulation decreased the frequency of negative mind-wandering thoughts about the past. Future studies could investigate tDCS of DMN regions as an intervention for patients with mood disorders who suffer from negative, past-oriented cognitions.
PMID: 33456096 [PubMed]
Cognit Ther Res. 2020 Feb;44(1):10-20
Authors: Chou T, Hooley JM, Camprodon JA