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Brain Stimul. 2012 Apr;5(2):116-23. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2012.03.007. Epub 2012 Mar 30.

Effect of continuous theta burst stimulation of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex on cerebral blood flow changes during decision making.

Author information

1
Division of Brain, Imaging and Behaviour - Systems Neuroscience, Toronto Western Research Institute, UHN, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

Decision making is a cognitive function relaying on a complex neural network. In particular, the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) plays a key role within this network. We used positron emission tomography (PET) combined with continuous theta burst transcranial magnetic stimulation (cTBS) to investigate neuronal and behavioral changes in normal volunteers while performing a delay discounting (DD) task. We aimed to test whether stimulation of right DLPFC would modify the activation pattern of the neural circuit underlying decision making during the DD task and influence discounting behavior. We found that cTBS of the right DLPFC influenced decision making by reducing impulsivity and inducing participants to favor large but delayed rewards instead of immediate but small rewards. Stimulation also affected activation in several prefrontal areas associated with DD. In particular, we observed a reduced regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in the ipsilateral DLPFC (BA 46) extending into the rostral part of the prefrontal cortex (BA 10) as well as a disrupted relationship between impulsivity (k-value) and rCBF in these and other prefrontal areas. These findings suggest that transcranial magnetic stimulation of the DLPFC influences the neural network underlying impulsive decision making behavior.

PMID:
22494829
PMCID:
PMC3707841
DOI:
10.1016/j.brs.2012.03.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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