The influence of rTMS over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex on intentional set switching
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- Vanderhasselt, MA., De Raedt, R., Baeken, C. et al. Exp Brain Res (2006) 172: 561. doi:10.1007/s00221-006-0540-5
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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.