Cognitive control of attention and decision making is a defining feature of the human intellect. Our ancestors survival in the past and our success as individuals today is reliant on our ability to respond to stimuli in the environment, learn from our mistakes, and make complex decisions based on cognitive deliberation, rather than impulsiveness. This study examined the effectiveness of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) for modulation of cognitive control of attention and impulsiveness. It was hypothesized that anodal tDCS of the right VLPFC would enhance cognitive control of attention and impulsiveness, that tDCS would enhance ERP responses related to cognitive control, and that both tDCS conditions would exhibit effects in these domains. Each of these hypotheses was supported by the results of this study, though there are caveats to the interpretation of these findings and further research is warranted. Despite these limitations, basic scientific and clinical implications of this research are significant. This study lends further support to the role of right VLPFC in cognitive control, demonstrates the effectiveness of tDCS for modulation of cognitive control, and suggests an effect of tDCS on impulsive decision making that may be related to effects on cognitive control of attention.
Level of Degree
First Committee Member (Chair)
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
tDCS, EEG, ERP, Cognitive Control, Attention, Impulsiveness
Coffman, Brian. "INCREASING YOUR BRAIN POTENTIAL: TRANSCRANIAL DIRECT CURRENT STIMULATION FOR ENHANCEMENT OF BEHAVIOR AND EVENT-RELATED POTENTIALS IN TESTS OF ATTENTION AND IMPUSLIVITY." (2014). http://digitalrepository.unm.edu/psy_etds/25