Decision conflicts may arise when the costs and benefits of choices are evaluated as a function of outcomes predicted along a temporal dimension. Electrophysiology studies suggest that during performance monitoring a typical oscillatory activity in the theta rhythm, named midfrontal theta, may index conflict processing and resolution. In the present within-subject, sham controlled, cross-over preregistered study, we delivered online midfrontal transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation (tACS) to modulate electrocortical activity during intertemporal decisions. Participants were invited to select choice preference between economic offers at three different intermixed levels of conflict (i.e., low, medium, high) while receiving either theta -, gamma-, or sham tACS in separate blocks and sessions. At the end of each stimulation block, a Letter-Flanker task was also administered to measure behavioural aftereffects. We hypothesized that theta-tACS would have acted on the performance monitoring system inducing behavioural changes (i.e., faster decisions and more impulsive choices) in high conflicting trials, rather than gammaand sham-tACS. Results very partially confirmed our predictions. Unexpectedly, both theta- and gamma-driven neuromodulation speeded-up decisions compared to sham. However, exploratory analyses revealed that such an effect was stronger in the highconflict decisions during theta-tACS. These findings were independent from the influence of the sensations induced by the electrical stimulation. Moreover, further analyses highlighted a significant association during theta-tACS between the selection of immediate offers in high-conflict trials and attentional impulsiveness, suggesting that individual factors may account for the tACS effects during intertemporal decisions. Finally, we did not capture long-lasting behavioural changes following tACS in the Flanker task. Our findings may inform scholars to improve experimental designs and boost the knowledge toward a more effective application of tACS.(c) 2023 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Modulating preferences during intertemporal choices through exogenous midfrontal transcranial alternating current stimulation: A registered report / Fusco, Gabriele; Scandola, Michele; Lin, Hause; Inzlicht, Michael; Aglioti, Salvatore Maria. - In: CORTEX. - ISSN 1973-8102. - 171:(2024), pp. 435-464. [10.1016/j.cortex.2023.09.019]

Modulating preferences during intertemporal choices through exogenous midfrontal transcranial alternating current stimulation: A registered report

Gabriele Fusco
Primo
;
Michele Scandola
Secondo
;
Michael Inzlicht
Penultimo
;
Salvatore Maria Aglioti
Ultimo
2024

Abstract

Decision conflicts may arise when the costs and benefits of choices are evaluated as a function of outcomes predicted along a temporal dimension. Electrophysiology studies suggest that during performance monitoring a typical oscillatory activity in the theta rhythm, named midfrontal theta, may index conflict processing and resolution. In the present within-subject, sham controlled, cross-over preregistered study, we delivered online midfrontal transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation (tACS) to modulate electrocortical activity during intertemporal decisions. Participants were invited to select choice preference between economic offers at three different intermixed levels of conflict (i.e., low, medium, high) while receiving either theta -, gamma-, or sham tACS in separate blocks and sessions. At the end of each stimulation block, a Letter-Flanker task was also administered to measure behavioural aftereffects. We hypothesized that theta-tACS would have acted on the performance monitoring system inducing behavioural changes (i.e., faster decisions and more impulsive choices) in high conflicting trials, rather than gammaand sham-tACS. Results very partially confirmed our predictions. Unexpectedly, both theta- and gamma-driven neuromodulation speeded-up decisions compared to sham. However, exploratory analyses revealed that such an effect was stronger in the highconflict decisions during theta-tACS. These findings were independent from the influence of the sensations induced by the electrical stimulation. Moreover, further analyses highlighted a significant association during theta-tACS between the selection of immediate offers in high-conflict trials and attentional impulsiveness, suggesting that individual factors may account for the tACS effects during intertemporal decisions. Finally, we did not capture long-lasting behavioural changes following tACS in the Flanker task. Our findings may inform scholars to improve experimental designs and boost the knowledge toward a more effective application of tACS.(c) 2023 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
2024
Conflict and error monitoring; Gamma; Intertemporal choice; Midfrontal oscillations; Registered report; Theta; Transcranial alternating current stimulation
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
Modulating preferences during intertemporal choices through exogenous midfrontal transcranial alternating current stimulation: A registered report / Fusco, Gabriele; Scandola, Michele; Lin, Hause; Inzlicht, Michael; Aglioti, Salvatore Maria. - In: CORTEX. - ISSN 1973-8102. - 171:(2024), pp. 435-464. [10.1016/j.cortex.2023.09.019]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1702212
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