5 years ago

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

Ramdave S, Martin AK, Meinzer M, Ilvana Dzafic I
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 and recognition memory. These effects were task specific, as no stimulation effects were found for attributing mental states from the eyes or implicit visual perspective taking. 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.

Publisher URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28444345

DOI: PubMed:28444345

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