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Title: Effects of anodal multichannel transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on social-cognitive performance in healthy subjects: A randomized sham-controlled crossover pilot study
Authors: Pereira, H Catarina
Sousa, Daniela
Simões, Marco
Martins, Ricardo Filipe Alves 
Amaral, Carlos
Lopes, Vânia
Crisóstomo, Joana
Castelo Branco, Miguel de Sá e Sousa 
Keywords: Facial expression; Holistic face detection; Joint attention; Multichannel tDCS; Social cognition; Temporoparietal junction
Issue Date: May-2021
Publisher: Elsevier
Series/Report no.: Progress in Brain Research;
Volume: 264
Abstract: Recent studies suggest that temporoparietal junction (TPJ) modulation can influence attention and social cognition performance. Nevertheless, no studies have used multichannel transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over bilateral TPJ to estimate the effects on these neuropsychological functions. The project STIPED is using optimized multichannel stimulation as an innovative treatment approach for chronic pediatric neurodevelopmental disorders, namely in children/adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In this pilot study, we aim to explore whether anodal multichannel tDCS coupled with a Joint Attention Task (JAT) influences social-cognitive task performance relative to sham stimulation, both in an Emotion Recognition Task (ERT) and in a Mooney Faces Detection Task (MFDT), as well as to evaluate this technique's safety and tolerability. Twenty healthy adults were enrolled in a randomized, single-blinded, sham-controlled, crossover study. During two sessions, participants completed the ERT and the MFDT before and after 20min of sham or anodal tDCS over bilateral TPJ. No significant differences on performance accuracy and reaction time were found between stimulation conditions for all tasks, including the JAT. A significant main time effect for overall accuracy and reaction time was found for the MFDT. Itching was the most common side effect and stimulation conditions detection was at chance level. Results suggest that multichannel tDCS over bilateral TPJ does not affect performance of low-level emotional recognition tasks in healthy adults. Although preliminary safety and tolerability are demonstrated, further studies over longer periods will be pursued to investigate the clinical efficacy in children/adolescents with ASD, where social cognition impairments are preponderant.
ISBN: 9780128223444
ISSN: 00796123
DOI: 10.1016/bs.pbr.2021.04.004
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D ICNAS - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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