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Transcranial alternating current stimulation over the pre-SMA and rIFG can improve response inhibition performance

Fitzpatrick, Rose (2018) Transcranial alternating current stimulation over the pre-SMA and rIFG can improve response inhibition performance. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Response inhibition refers to the ability to withhold or cancel a dominant action, and plays a vital role in daily functioning and safety. However, the exact neural mechanisms underpinning response inhibition still require further elucidation. Previous neurophysiological research has found the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA) and the right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG) are involved in response inhibition, with evidence showing that they work together for successful inhibitory control. The current study aimed to explore if transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) could improve response inhibition performance by synchronising oscillatory activity between the pre-SMA and rIFG to facilitate communication. It also aimed to examine the effect of tACS on the P3 and the N2, event-related potentials (ERPs) that are commonly associated with response inhibition. Twenty-two right-handed participants, (mean age = 23.55 years, equal number of males and females) participated in a double-blind experiment. It consisted of two sessions with either synchronised or desynchronised tACS. Response inhibition was measured using a stop-signal task. The study found that synchronised tACS effectively improved response inhibition performance. However, there were no significant changes in the peak amplitudes or onset latencies of N2 and P3 as a result of stimulation. This study has shown tACS is effective at improving response inhibition performance when synchronised stimulation is applied to two regions involved. This approach should be built upon by future research to develop tACS into a treatment tool for improving response inhibition.

Keywords: response inhibition, transcranial alternating current stimulation, tACS, stop-signal task, SST, N2, P3

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology and Exercise Science
United Nations SDGs: Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
Supervisor(s): Fujiyama, Hakuei
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