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Modulating vicarious tactile perception with transcranial electrical current stimulation

Modulating vicarious tactile perception with transcranial electrical current stimulation

Bowling, Natalie C. ORCID: 0000-0001-5784-3664 and Banissy, Michael J. (2017) Modulating vicarious tactile perception with transcranial electrical current stimulation. European Journal of Neuroscience, 46 (8). pp. 2355-2364. ISSN 0953-816X (Print), 1460-9568 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/ejn.13699)

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Abstract

Our capacity to share the experiences of others is a critical part of social behaviour. One process thought to be important for this is vicarious perception. Passively viewing touch activates some of the same network of brain regions as the direct experience of touch. This vicarious experience is usually implicit, but for some people, viewing touch evokes conscious tactile sensations (mirror-touch synaesthesia). Recent work has attempted to induce conscious vicarious touch in those that do not normally experience these sensations, using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Anodal tDCS applied to primary somatosensory cortex (SI) was found to induce behavioural performance akin to mirror-touch synaesthesia on a visuotactile interference task. Here, we conducted two experiments that sought to replicate and extend these findings by examining: a) the effects of tDCS and high frequency transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS) targeted at SI and temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) on vicarious tactile perception, b) the extent to which any stimulation effects were specific to viewing touch to humans versus inanimate agents, and c) the influence of visual perspective (viewing touch from one’s own versus another’s perspective) on vicarious perception. In Experiment 1, tRNS targeted at SI did not modulate vicarious perception. In Experiment 2, tDCS targeted at SI, but not TPJ, resulted in some modulation of vicarious perception, but there were important caveats to this effect. Implications regarding mechanisms of vicarious perception are discussed. Collectively, the findings do not provide convincing evidence for the potential to modulate vicarious tactile perception with transcranial electrical current stimulation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience published by Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: mirror-touch synaesthesia, primary somatosensory cortex, temporo-parietal junction, transcranial random noise stimulation, transcranial direct current stimulation
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Last Modified: 16 May 2020 20:59
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: REF 1
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/28198

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