Translational application of neuromodulation of decision-making.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Brain Stimul, Volume 5, Issue 2, p.77-83 (2012)


Decision Making, Electric Stimulation, Humans, Impulsive Behavior, Models, Psychological, Prefrontal Cortex, Reward, Risk-Taking, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, Translational Medical Research


<p>Recent cognitive neuroscience studies indicate that noninvasive brain stimulation can modulate a wide spectrum of behaviors in healthy individuals. Such modulation of behaviors provides novel insights into the fundamentals and neurobiology of cognitive functions in the healthy brain, but also suggests promising prospects for translational applications into clinical populations. One type of behavior that can be modulated with noninvasive brain stimulation is decision-making. For instance, brain stimulation can induce more cautious or riskier behaviors. The capacity of influencing processes involved in decision-making is of particular interest because such processes are at the core of human social and emotional functioning (or dysfunctioning). We review cognitive neuroscience studies that have successfully modulated processes involved in decision-making with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), including risk taking, reward seeking, impulsivity, and fairness consideration. We also discuss potential clinical relevance of these findings for patients who have still unmet therapeutic need and whose alterations in decision-making represent hallmarks of their clinical symptomatology, such as individuals with addictive disorders.</p>

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