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Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) was paired with eye tracking to elucidate contributions of frontal, temporoparietal and anterior temporal cortex to early visual search patterns during picture naming (e.g., rapid visual scanning to diagnostic semantic features). Neurotypical adults named line drawings of objects prior to and following tDCS in three separate sessions, each employing a unique electrode montage. The gaze data revealed montage by stimulation (pre/post) interaction effects characterized by longer initial visual fixations (mean difference =89 ms; Cohen’s d =.8) and cumulative fixation durations (mean difference =98 ms; Cohen’s d =.9) on key semantic features (e.g., the head of an animal) after cathodal frontotemporal stimulation relative to the pre-stimulation baseline. We interpret these findings as reflecting a tDCS-induced modulation of semantic contributions of the anterior temporal lobe(s) to top-down influences on object recognition. Further, we discuss implications for the optimization of tDCS for the treatment of anomia in aphasia.


  • Semantic cognition, Picture naming, Anterior temporal lobe, tDCS, Eye tracking
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-23
JournalBrain and Language
Early online date11 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

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