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Brain Sci. 2016, 6(4), 55; doi:10.3390/brainsci6040055

No Effect of Cathodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Fear Memory in Healthy Human Subjects

1
Department of Psychiatry, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Charité, Berlin 14050, Germany
2
Cluster of Excellence “Languages of Emotion”, Freie Universität, Berlin 14195, Germany
3
Dahlem Institute for Neuroimaging of Emotion, Freie Universität, Berlin 14195, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Bruno Aouizerate
Received: 19 September 2016 / Revised: 28 October 2016 / Accepted: 1 November 2016 / Published: 4 November 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [199 KB, uploaded 4 November 2016]

Abstract

Background: Studies have demonstrated that fear memories can be modified using non-invasive methods. Recently, we demonstrated that anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is capable of enhancing fear memories. Here, we examined the effects of cathodal tDCS of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during fear reconsolidation in humans. Methods: Seventeen young, healthy subjects were randomly assigned to two groups, which underwent fear conditioning with mild electric stimuli paired with a visual stimulus. Twenty-four hours later, both groups were shown a reminder of the conditioned fearful stimulus. Shortly thereafter, they received either tDCS (right prefrontal—cathodal, left supraorbital—anodal) for 20 min at 1 mA, or sham stimulation. A day later, fear responses of both groups were compared. Results: On Day 3, during fear response assessment, there were no significant differences between the tDCS and sham group (p > 0.05). Conclusion: We conclude that cathodal tDCS of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (right prefrontal—cathodal, left supraorbital—anodal) did not influence fear memories. View Full-Text
Keywords: direct current stimulation; fear conditioning; memory; prefrontal cortex direct current stimulation; fear conditioning; memory; prefrontal cortex
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Mungee, A.; Burger, M.; Bajbouj, M. No Effect of Cathodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Fear Memory in Healthy Human Subjects. Brain Sci. 2016, 6, 55.

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