Environmental cues may anticipate the availability of rewards, thus acting as a guide towards a specific choice (i.e., cue-guided choices). Despite the lateral prefrontal cortex having a critical role in using past learning and flexibly selecting relevant information to guide behavior, the literature on the neural basis of human cue-guided choice mainly focused on the subcortical brain structures implicated, while the specific role of cortical areas remained unclear. The present study aimed to provide causal evidence for the involvement of the lateral prefrontal cortex in two forms of human cue-guided choice, namely outcome-specific and general. To do this, 2mA cathodal, anodal or sham transcranial direct current stimulation was applied over the lateral prefrontal cortex (with the posterior parietal cortex serving as control region) in three separate groups performing a Pavlovian-to-Instrumental Transfer task. Results showed, for the first time, a dissociation in the cortical structures involved in human cue-guided choice. Cathodal stimulation of the lateral prefrontal cortex reduced the outcome-specific transfer. In striking contrast, there was no influence on the general transfer. These results argue in favor of the presence of at least two possible neural pathways underlying cue-guided choices.

Modulation of cue-guided choices by transcranial direct current stimulation

Garofalo, Sara;Battaglia, Simone;Starita, Francesca;di Pellegrino, Giuseppe
2021

Abstract

Environmental cues may anticipate the availability of rewards, thus acting as a guide towards a specific choice (i.e., cue-guided choices). Despite the lateral prefrontal cortex having a critical role in using past learning and flexibly selecting relevant information to guide behavior, the literature on the neural basis of human cue-guided choice mainly focused on the subcortical brain structures implicated, while the specific role of cortical areas remained unclear. The present study aimed to provide causal evidence for the involvement of the lateral prefrontal cortex in two forms of human cue-guided choice, namely outcome-specific and general. To do this, 2mA cathodal, anodal or sham transcranial direct current stimulation was applied over the lateral prefrontal cortex (with the posterior parietal cortex serving as control region) in three separate groups performing a Pavlovian-to-Instrumental Transfer task. Results showed, for the first time, a dissociation in the cortical structures involved in human cue-guided choice. Cathodal stimulation of the lateral prefrontal cortex reduced the outcome-specific transfer. In striking contrast, there was no influence on the general transfer. These results argue in favor of the presence of at least two possible neural pathways underlying cue-guided choices.
Garofalo, Sara; Battaglia, Simone; Starita, Francesca; di Pellegrino, Giuseppe
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/804799
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