Hemispheric dorsolateral prefrontal cortex lateralization in the regulation of empathy for pain

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Author list: Rego GG, Lapenta OM, Marques LM, Costa TL, Leite J, Carvalho S, Goncalves OF, Brunoni AR, Fregni F, Boggio PS
Publisher: Elsevier: 12 months
Publication year: 2015
Journal: Neuroscience Letters (0304-3940)
Volume number: 594
Start page: 12
End page: 16
Number of pages: 5
ISSN: 0304-3940
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is involved in the cognitive appraisal and modulation of the pain experience. In this sham-controlled study, with healthy volunteers, we used bi-hemispheric transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the DLPFC to assess emotional reactions elicited by pain observation. Left-cathodal/right-anodal tDCS decreased valence and arousal evaluations compared to other tDCS conditions. Compared to sham condition, both left-cathodal/right-anodal and left-anodal/right-cathodal tDCS decreased hostility, sadness and self-pain perception. These decreased sensations after both active tDCS suggest a common role for left and right DLPFC in personal distress modulation. However, the differences in arousal and valence evaluations point to distinct roles of lateralized DLPFC in cognitive empathy, probably through distinct emotion regulation mechanisms. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


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Last updated on 2019-23-08 at 11:15