Dopamine depletion effects on cognitive flexibility as modulated by tDCS of the dlPFC

BORWICK, Ciara, LAL, Reece, LIM, Lee Wei, STAGG, Charlotte and AQUILI, Luca (2019). Dopamine depletion effects on cognitive flexibility as modulated by tDCS of the dlPFC. Brain Stimulation.

Borwick_DopamineDepletionEffects(AM).pdf - Accepted Version
Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (314kB) | Preview
Official URL:
Link to published version::


Background Recent evidence suggests that transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) may interact with the dopaminergic system to affect cognitive flexibility. Objective/hypotheses: We examined whether putative reduction of dopamine levels through the acute phenylalanine/tyrosine depletion (APTD) procedure and excitatory anodal tDCS of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) are causally related to cognitive flexibility as measured by task switching and reversal learning. Method A double-blind, sham-controlled, randomised trial was conducted to test the effects of combining anodal tDCS and depletion of catecholaminergic precursor tyrosine on cognitive flexibility. Results Anodal tDCS and tyrosine depletion had a significant effect on task switching, but not reversal learning. Whilst perseverative errors were significantly improved by anodal tDCS, the APTD impaired reaction times. Importantly, the combination of APTD and anodal tDCS resulted in cognitive performance which did not statistically differ to that of the control condition. Conclusions Our results suggest that the effects of tDCS on cognitive flexibility are modulated by dopaminergic tone.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 11 Medical and Health Sciences; Neurology & Neurosurgery
Identification Number:
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2019 09:31
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2021 23:30

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics