Data_Sheet_1_Effect of Modulating Activity of DLPFC and Gender on Search Behavior: A tDCS Experiment.XLSX

Studies of search behavior have shown that individuals stop searching earlier and accept a lower point than predicted by the optimal, risk-neutral stopping rule. This behavior may be related to individual risk preferences. Studies have also found correlativity between risk preferences and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). As risk attitude plays a crucial role in search behavior, we studied whether modulating the activity of DLPFC, by using a transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) device, can change individual search behavior. We performed a sequential search task in which subjects decided when to accept a point randomly drawn from a uniform distribution. A total of 49 subjects (23 females, mean age = 21.84 ± 2.09 years, all right-handed) were recruited at Zhejiang University from May 2017 to September 2017. They repeated the task in 80 trials and received the stimulation at the end of the 40th trial. The results showed that after receiving right anodal/left cathodal stimulation, subjects increased their searching duration, which led to an increase in their accepted point from 778.17 to 826.12. That is, the subjects may have changed their risk attitude to search for a higher acceptable point and received a higher benefit. In addition, the effect of stimulation on search behavior was mainly driven by the female subjects rather than by the male subjects: the female subjects significantly increased their accepted point from 764.15 to 809.17 after right anodal/left cathodal stimulation, while the male subjects increased their accepted point from 794.18 to 845.49, but the change was not significant.