Evidence of top-down modulation of the Brentano illusion but not of the glare effect by transcranial direct current stimulation

Ottavia Maddaluno, Alessio Facchin, Daniele Zavagno, Nadia Bolognini, Elisa Gianoli, Elisa M. Curreri, Roberta Daini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been widely used for modulating sensory, motor and cognitive functions, but there are only few attempts to induce and change illusory perception. Visual illusions have been the most traditional and effective way to investigate visual processing through the comparison between physical reality and subjective reports. Here we used tDCS to modulate two different visual illusions, namely the Brentano illusion and the glare effect, with the aim of uncovering the influence of top-down mechanisms on bottom-up visual perception in two experiments. In Experiment 1, to a first group of subjects, real and sham cathodal tDCS (2 mA, 10 min) were applied over the left and right posterior parietal cortices (PPC). In Experiment 2, real and sham cathodal tDCS were applied to the left and right occipital cortices (OC) to a second group of participants. Results showed that tDCS was effective in modulating only the Brentano illusion, but not the glare effect. tDCS increased the Brentano illusion but specifically for the stimulated cortical area (right PPC), illusion direction (leftward), visual hemispace (left), and illusion length (160 mm). These findings suggest the existence of an inhibitory modulation of top-down mechanisms on bottom-up visual processing specifically for the Brentano illusion, but not for the glare effect. The lack of effect of occipital tDCS should consider the possible role of ocular compensation or of the unstimulated hemisphere, which deserves further investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2111-2121
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Volume237
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2019

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Glare
Parietal Lobe
Occipital Lobe
Visual Perception
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
Cognition

Keywords

  • Brightness
  • Top-down modulation
  • Transcranial direct current stimulation
  • Visual illusions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Evidence of top-down modulation of the Brentano illusion but not of the glare effect by transcranial direct current stimulation. / Maddaluno, Ottavia; Facchin, Alessio; Zavagno, Daniele; Bolognini, Nadia; Gianoli, Elisa; Curreri, Elisa M.; Daini, Roberta.

In: Experimental Brain Research, Vol. 237, No. 8, 01.08.2019, p. 2111-2121.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Maddaluno, Ottavia ; Facchin, Alessio ; Zavagno, Daniele ; Bolognini, Nadia ; Gianoli, Elisa ; Curreri, Elisa M. ; Daini, Roberta. / Evidence of top-down modulation of the Brentano illusion but not of the glare effect by transcranial direct current stimulation. In: Experimental Brain Research. 2019 ; Vol. 237, No. 8. pp. 2111-2121.
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