The influence of one session of HF-rTMS stimulation on brain activity in an emotional fMRI paradigm

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper


Introduction: High-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (HF-rTSM) of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (L-DLPFC) has been introduced to treat mood disorders. The influence of HF-rTMS on emotional processes in the brain is still unclear. In this study we investigated in healthy volunteers the effects present one hour after stimulation using an emotional task during fMRI. Subject selection avoided the confounding effects of age, gender and depressive mood
Materials and methods: We included 19 non-depressed female volunteers (25?5 years) who conformed to the current guidelines for rTMS and fMRI research. All of them received an active rTMS (10Hz; 40 trains of 3.9s; intertrain interval=26.1s; 110% motor threshold intensity) and a sham (coil perpendicular to the scalp) session of the L-DLPFC in two separate sessions (separated by at least 1 week). 10 volunteers were chosen at random to receive the active session first, while the other 9 received the sham session first.
One hour after each stimulation session, all volunteers completed an event-related fMRI experiment. They were asked to assess the emotional content of the positively and negatively valenced baby face pictures used in [1], by button presses. The pictures were shown in random sequence with 3.78?2.26s inter-trial time. The volunteers were familiarized with all pictures just before the fMRI experiment.
We measured 164 EPI images (TR/TE=3000/35ms; 18 slices; matrix=64x64) using a 1.5T Philips MRI scanner. Analysis was done as pointed out in [2] using SPM8, to find the individual activation maps in response to the positive and negative pictures.
Results: Based on these activation maps, a 3-by-2 ANOVA (emotion x group x treatment) was performed. With p(uncorrected)Conclusions: Stimulation effects in regions known to play a key role in emotional processes [3] were found one hour after the rTMS session.

References: [1] Baeken C.(2010): Behavioral Brain Research;214:450-455 [2] Calhoun V.D.(2004): NeuroImage;22:252-257 [3] Pessoa L.(2010): Nat. Rev. Neurosci.;11:773-783
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationESMRMB
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventUnknown -
Duration: 1 Jan 2011 → …


Period1/01/11 → …


  • fMRI
  • TMS


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