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Causal evidence for task-specific involvement of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex in human social cognition

Martin, Andrew K., Dzafic, Ilvana, Ramdave, Swathi, Meinzer, Marcus (2017) Causal evidence for task-specific involvement of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex in human social cognition. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 12 (8). pp. 1209-1218. ISSN 1749-5016. (doi:10.1093/scan/nsx063)

Abstract

The dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) is a key hub of the 'social brain', but little is known about specific processes supported by this region. Using focal high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation (HD-tDCS) and a social cognitive battery with differing demands on self-other processing, we demonstrate specific involvement of the dmPFC in tasks placing high demands on self-other processing. Specifically, excitatory (anodal) HD-tDCS enhanced the integration of external information into the self for explicit higher-order socio-cognitive tasks across cognitive domains; i.e. visual perspective taking (VPT) and episodicmemory. These effects were task specific, as no stimulation effects were found for attributingmental states from the eyes or implicit VPT. Inhibitory (cathodal) HD-tDCS had weaker effects in the opposite direction towards reduced integration of external information into the self.We thus demonstrate for the first time a specific and causal role of the dmPFC in integrating higher-order information from others/external source into that of the self across cognitive domains.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/scan/nsx063
Uncontrolled keywords: adolescent; adult; human; perception; physiology; prefrontal cortex; procedures; theory of mind; transcranial direct current stimulation; young adult, Adolescent; Adult; Humans; Prefrontal Cortex; Social Perception; Theory of Mind; Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation; Young Adult
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Andrew Martin
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2020 12:36 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2020 12:36 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/79702 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Martin, Andrew K.: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9445-9151
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