Asymmetric Contributions of the Fronto-Parietal Network to Emotional Conflict in the Word–Face Interference Task

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Francesca De Luca, Manuel Petrucci, Bianca Monachesi, Michal Lavidor, Anna Pecchinenda (2020): Asymmetric Contributions of the Fronto-Parietal Network to Emotional Conflict in the Word–Face Interference Task. In: Symmetry, 2020.

Abstract

The fronto-parietal network is involved in top-down and bottom-up processes necessary to achieve cognitive control. We investigated the role of asymmetric enhancement of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (lDLPFC) and right posterior parietal cortex (rPPC) in cognitive control under conditions of emotional conflict arising from emotional distractors. The effects of anodal tDCS over the lDLPFC/cathodal over the rPPC and the effects of anodal tDCS over the rPPC/cathodal over the lDLPFC were compared to sham tDCS in a double-blind design. The findings showed that anodal stimulation over the lDLPFC reduced interference from emotional distractors, but only when participants had already gained experience with the task. In contrast, having already performed the task only eliminated facilitation effects for positive stimuli. Importantly, anodal stimulation of the rPPC did not affect distractors’ interference. Therefore, the present findings indicate that the lDLPFC plays a crucial role in implementing top-down control to resolve emotional conflict, but that experience with the task is necessary to reveal this role

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