Psychology ETDs

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Given that mindfulness-based training techniques (MBT) stimulates and pushes ones core cognitive control capacity limits, brain stimulation techniques, such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), can be used to facilitate the ongoing neural patterns of functional connectivity toward long-lasting neuroplastic change. The current study assessed the combined effects of MBT with right frontal tDCS on cognitive control abilities and their corresponding brain patterns of activation using electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). This study found an enhancement in working memory and sustained attention performance along with changes in the attention-related P3 component and its theta and alpha oscillatory profiles recorded by EEG. Furthermore, a reconfiguration in the chronnectome of large-scale resting-state networks was observed using resting-state fMRI, in addition to task-related changes in the polymodal neural architecture associated with encoding and adaptation, which may bridge the necessary connections from near to far transfer gains.

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First Advisor

Clark, Vincent

First Committee Member (Chair)

Witkiewitz, Katie

Second Committee Member

Calhoun, Vince

Third Committee Member

Schumacher, Eric


The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (DGE-0903444), The National Academies Ford Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) via contract #2014-131270006, and The National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) via R21MH097201.




Neuroplasticity, Mindfulness training, Transcranial direct current stimulation, Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), Electroencephalogram (EEG), P300, Working memory load, Sustained attention, Dynamic functional network connectivity, Alpha and theta oscillatory activity, Visual oddball performance

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