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Brain stimulation modulates driving behavior


Beeli, G; Koeneke, Susan; Gasser, K; Jäncke, Lutz (2008). Brain stimulation modulates driving behavior. Behavioral and Brain Functions, 4:34:1-7.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Driving a car is a complex task requiring coordinated functioning of distributed brain regions. Controlled and safe driving depends on the integrity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), a brain region, which has been shown to mature in late adolescence. METHODS: In this study, driving performance of twenty-four male participants was tested in a high-end driving simulator before and after the application of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) for 15 minutes over the left or right DLPFC. RESULTS: We show that external modulation of both, the left and the right, DLPFC directly influences driving behavior. Excitation of the DLPFC (by applying anodal tDCS) leads to a more careful driving style in virtual scenarios without the participants noticing changes in their behavior. CONCLUSION: This study is one of the first to prove that external stimulation of a specific brain area can influence a multi-part behavior in a very complex and everyday-life situation, therefore breaking new ground for therapy at a neural level.

BACKGROUND: Driving a car is a complex task requiring coordinated functioning of distributed brain regions. Controlled and safe driving depends on the integrity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), a brain region, which has been shown to mature in late adolescence. METHODS: In this study, driving performance of twenty-four male participants was tested in a high-end driving simulator before and after the application of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) for 15 minutes over the left or right DLPFC. RESULTS: We show that external modulation of both, the left and the right, DLPFC directly influences driving behavior. Excitation of the DLPFC (by applying anodal tDCS) leads to a more careful driving style in virtual scenarios without the participants noticing changes in their behavior. CONCLUSION: This study is one of the first to prove that external stimulation of a specific brain area can influence a multi-part behavior in a very complex and everyday-life situation, therefore breaking new ground for therapy at a neural level.

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18 citations in Web of Science®
33 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:30 Oct 2008 09:54
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:32
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1744-9081
Additional Information:Free full text article
Publisher DOI:10.1186/1744-9081-4-34
Official URL:http://www.behavioralandbrainfunctions.com/content/pdf/1744-9081-4-34.pdf
PubMed ID:18684333
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-4850

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