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Durham University



Publication details for Professor Amanda Ellison

Ellison, A., Ball, K.L., Moseley, P., Dowsett, J., Smith, D.T., Weis, S. & Lane, A.R. (2014). Functional Interaction between Right Parietal and Bilateral Frontal Cortices during Visual Search Tasks Revealed Using Functional Magnetic Imaging and Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation. PLoS ONE 9(4): e93767.

Author(s) from Durham


The existence of a network of brain regions which are activated when one undertakes a difficult visual search task is well established. Two primary nodes on this network are right posterior parietal cortex (rPPC) and right frontal eye fields. Both have been shown to be involved in the orientation of attention, but the contingency that the activity of one of these areas has on the other is less clear. We sought to investigate this question by using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to selectively decrease activity in rPPC and then asking participants to perform a visual search task whilst undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging. Comparison with a condition in which sham tDCS was applied revealed that cathodal tDCS over rPPC causes a selective bilateral decrease in frontal activity when performing a visual search task. This result demonstrates for the first time that premotor regions within the frontal lobe and rPPC are not only necessary to carry out a visual search task, but that they work together to bring about normal function.

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