Speech Facilitation by Left Inferior Frontal Cortex Stimulation

Rachel Holland, Alex P. Leff, Oliver Josephs, Joseph Galea, Mahalekshmi Desikan, Cathy J. Price, John c. Rothwell, Jennifer Crinion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

218 Citations (Scopus)
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Electrophysiological studies in humans and animals suggest that noninvasive neurostimulation methods such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can elicit long-lasting [1], polarity-dependent [2] changes in neocortical excitability. Application of tDCS can have significant and selective behavioral consequences that are associated with the cortical location of the stimulation electrodes and the task engaged during stimulation [3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8]. However, the mechanism by which tDCS affects human behavior is unclear. Recently, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has been used to determine the spatial topography of tDCS effects [9, 10, 11, 12 and 13], but no behavioral data were collected during stimulation. The present study is unique in this regard, in that both neural and behavioral responses were recorded using a novel combination of left frontal anodal tDCS during an overt picture-naming fMRI study. We found that tDCS had significant behavioral and regionally specific neural facilitation effects. Furthermore, faster naming responses correlated with decreased blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal in Broca's area. Our data support the importance of Broca's area within the normal naming network and as such indicate that Broca's area may be a suitable candidate site for tDCS in neurorehabilitation of anomic patients, whose brain damage spares this region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1403-1407
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Biology
Issue number16
Early online date4 Aug 2011
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2011


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