Reduced brain entropy by repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in healthy young adults

  • Donghui Song
  • Da Chang
  • Jian Zhang
  • Wei Peng
  • Yuanqi Shang
  • Xin Gao
  • Ze Wang


Entropy indicates system irregularity and the capacity for information processing. Recent research has identified interesting voxel-wise entropy distribution patterns in normal brain and its changes due to aging and brain disorders. A question of great scientific and clinical importance is whether brain entropy (BEN) can be modulated using non-invasive neuromodulations. The purpose of this study was to address this open question using high-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). BEN was calculated from resting state fMRI at each voxel acquired before and after applying 20 Hz rTMS or SHAM (control) stimulation. As compared to SHAM, 20 Hz rTMS reduced BEN in medial orbito-frontal cortex and subgenial anterior cingulate cortex (MOFC/sgACC), suggesting a reduced information processing therein, probably as a result of the enhanced top-down regulation by the left DLPFC rTMS. No significant changes were observed to the functional connectivity (FC) between the left DLPFC (the target site) to the rest of the brain, suggesting that rTMS may not affect FC though it might use FC to transfer its effects or the ad hoc information. Our data proved that rTMS can modulate BEN and BEN can be used to monitor rTMS effects.


rTMS Brain entropy Resting state fMRI 



This study was funded by Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province (Grant LZ15H180001), the Youth 1000 Talent Program of China, and Hangzhou Qianjiang Endowed Professor Program, National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 61671198).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declared no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed written consents were obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Cognition and Brain Disorders, Department of PsychologyHangzhou Normal UniversityZhejiang, ProvinceChina
  2. 2.Department of Radiology, Lewis Katz School of MedicineTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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