Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 172, Issue 4, pp 561–565

The influence of rTMS over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex on intentional set switching


    • Department of PsychologyGhent University
  • Rudi De Raedt
    • Department of PsychologyGhent University
  • Chris Baeken
    • Academic Hospital, Department of PsychiatryFree University of Brussels (V.U.B.)
  • Lemke Leyman
    • Department of PsychologyGhent University
  • Hugo D’haenen
    • Academic Hospital, Department of PsychiatryFree University of Brussels (V.U.B.)
Research Note

DOI: 10.1007/s00221-006-0540-5

Cite this article as:
Vanderhasselt, M., De Raedt, R., Baeken, C. et al. Exp Brain Res (2006) 172: 561. doi:10.1007/s00221-006-0540-5


High frequency (HF) repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has an excitatory effect on neurons of a specific brain area. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) has been associated with executive functions, such as task set switching. One important experimental paradigm for investigating such higher order cognitive control is the task-switching (TS) paradigm. A TS paradigm requires switching between two conditional response tasks with mutually incompatible response–selection rules. In the present study, the influence of HF rTMS over the right DLPFC in healthy female volunteers on a modified TS paradigm was investigated. As expected, reaction time on cued switching trials decreased significant after rTMS, as compared to non-cued switch trials. No changes emerged after the placebo sham condition. Mood remained unchanged after rTMS. These findings demonstrate the role of the right DLPFC in cued intentional set switch initiation.


RTMSDorsolateral prefrontal cortexTask switchingExecutive functioningIntentional set

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006