Auricular Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation (tVNS) Affects Mood and Anxiety during Second Language Learning

AbstractVagus nerve stimulation (VNS) has been used to address the symptoms of treatment-resistant depression (Rush et al., 2000) and is proposed to also alleviate anxiety effects (George et al., 2008). Transcutaneous VNS (tVNS) offers a less invasive treatment mechanism for clinical populations; however, little is known about tVNS effects on mood and anxiety in a non-clinical adult population. Using auricular tVNS, the present study showed that 10 minutes of tVNS immediately preceding second-language learning across three consecutive days reduced state negative affect, somatic anxiety, and cognitive anxiety, dependent on task performance and/or trait mood/anxiety.

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