Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 172, Issue 4, pp 561–565 | Cite as

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

  • Marie-Anne Vanderhasselt
  • Rudi De Raedt
  • Chris Baeken
  • Lemke Leyman
  • Hugo D’haenen
Research Note


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.


RTMS Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex Task switching Executive functioning Intentional set 



This study was supported by a grant from the Scientific Fund W. Gepts AZ VUB. The authors thank Professor Dr. R. Luypaert, P. Clerinckx and P. Van Schuerbeeck from the department of radiology for the AZ VUB technical assistance in data collection and MRI data analysis


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie-Anne Vanderhasselt
    • 1
  • Rudi De Raedt
    • 1
  • Chris Baeken
    • 2
  • Lemke Leyman
    • 1
  • Hugo D’haenen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Academic Hospital, Department of PsychiatryFree University of Brussels (V.U.B.)BrusselsBelgium

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