Stimulating Self-Regulation: A Review of Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Studies of Goal-Directed Behavior.
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Self-regulation enables individuals to guide their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in a purposeful manner. Self-regulation is thus crucial for goal-directed behavior and contributes to many consequential outcomes in life including physical health, psychological well-being, ethical decision making, and strong interpersonal relationships. Neuroscientific research has revealed that the prefrontal cortex plays a central role in self-regulation, specifically by exerting top-down control over subcortical regions involved in reward (e.g., striatum) and emotion (e.g., amygdala). To orient readers, we first offer a methodological overview of tDCS and then review experiments using non-invasive brain stimulation techniques (especially transcranial direct current stimulation) to target prefrontal brain regions implicated in self-regulation. We focus on brain stimulation studies of self-regulatory behavior across three broad domains of response: persistence, delay behavior, and impulse control. We suggest that stimulating the prefrontal cortex promotes successful self-regulation by altering the balance in activity between the prefrontal cortex and subcortical regions involved in emotion and reward processing.
author list (cited authors)
Kelley, N. J., Gallucci, A., Riva, P., Romero Lauro, L. J., & Schmeichel, B. J
complete list of authors
Kelley, Nicholas J||Gallucci, Alessia||Riva, Paolo||Romero Lauro, Leonor Josefina||Schmeichel, Brandon J