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Poster A69

Enhancement of emotion perception through transcranial random noise stimulation over the inferior frontal gyrus

Poster Session A - Saturday, April 13, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Carmen Dang1 (, Michael Zara1, Frank Russo1; 1Toronto Metropolitan University

The human mirror neuron system (hMNS) is a prominent brain network encompassing sensory and motor areas that has been implicated in action perception and more recently, emotion perception. We applied transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS) to the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG; a major node of the hMNS) to assess the neural and behavioural effects. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either sham tRNS or active tRNS and completed emotion perception tasks during an electroencephalogram (EEG) recording. EEG was used to measure hMNS activity through event-related desynchronization of the mu-rhythm (mu-ERD). For greater ecological validity, the emotion perception tasks included dynamic audio-visual portrayals of emotions in addition to images. We replicated a previous study such that active tRNS improved task accuracy on an emotion perception task with static stimuli, compared to sham tRNS. There was no group difference on the control task. Moreover, when perceiving dynamic audio-visual stimuli in an emotion perception task, active tRNS led to greater mu-ERD, faster response times and marginally better accuracy compared to sham. Our interpretation of these findings is that tRNS over the IFG leads to an enhancement of embodied responding to emotional stimuli. Overall, this research highlights the potential of brain stimulation to further our understanding of the role of motor areas in emotion perception.

Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Emotion-cognition interactions


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April 13–16  |  2024