Investigating the roles of medial prefrontal and superior temporal cortex in source monitoring

Moseley, Peter orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9284-2509, Mitrenga, Kaja, Ellison, Amanda and Fernyhough, Charles (2018) Investigating the roles of medial prefrontal and superior temporal cortex in source monitoring. Neuropsychologia, 120 . pp. 113-123. ISSN 0028-3932

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Source monitoring, or the ability to recall the origin of information, is a crucial aspect of remembering past experience. One facet of this, reality monitoring, refers to the ability to distinguish between internally generated and externally generated information, biases in which have previously been associated with auditory verbal hallucinations in schizophrenia. Neuroimaging evidence suggests that medial prefrontal and superior temporal (STG) regions may play a role in reality monitoring for auditory verbal information, with evidence from a previous neurostimulation experiment also suggesting that modulation of excitability in STG may affect reality monitoring task performance. Here, two experiments are reported that used transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to modulate excitability in medial prefrontal and superior temporal cortex, to further investigate the role of these brain regions in reality monitoring. In the first experiment (N = 36), tDCS was applied during the encoding stage of the task, while in the second experiment, in a separate sample (N = 36), it was applied during the test stage. There was no effect of tDCS compared to a sham condition in either experiment, with Bayesian analysis providing evidence for the null hypothesis in both cases. This suggests that tDCS applied to superior temporal or medial prefrontal regions may not affect reality monitoring performance, and has implications for theoretical models that link reality monitoring to the therapeutic effect of tDCS on auditory verbal hallucinations.

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