Table_1_tDCS Facilitation of Picture Naming: Item-Specific, Task General, or Neither?.DOCX (660.95 kB)

Table_1_tDCS Facilitation of Picture Naming: Item-Specific, Task General, or Neither?.DOCX

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posted on 10.08.2018, 04:08 by Joshua S. Payne, Marie-Josèphe Tainturier

The aim of the present study was to clarify the conditions under which anodal tDCS applied to left hemisphere language sites may facilitate picture naming latencies in healthy young adults. We built upon previous studies by directly testing for item-specific and generalized effects of tDCS through manipulation of item-familiarization and through testing for both online and offline effects of stimulation, in the same paradigm. In addition, we tested for the robustness of these effects by comparing two left hemisphere sites critical for lexical retrieval. Twenty-eight healthy young adults completed two testing sessions receiving either anodal (1.5 mA, 20 min) or sham stimulation (1.5 mA, 30 s) in each session. Half of the participants received tDCS over the left inferior frontal region and the other half over the left posterior superior temporal region. All participants were asked to a name a set of pictures and their response latencies were compared at three time points (before, during, and after the end of stimulation). The stimulus set was constructed so that some items were presented at all time points, some before and after stimulation, and some during stimulation only. A parsimonious linear mixed effects model (LMM) revealed robust repetition priming effects as latencies were reliably faster for previously named items in all conditions. However, active tDCS did not produce any additional facilitation in relation to sham, and even led to slower performance in the IFG group when the stimulated items differed from those tested at baseline and post-test. Our findings add to the present debate about the efficacy of single-session tDCS for modulation of lexical retrieval in healthy young adults. We conclude that future research should take a more systematic, step-wise approach to the application of tDCS to the study of language and that more sensitive experimental paradigms, which include a training element, are more adapted to the study of cognitive processes in populations with optimal levels of cortical excitability.