Modulation of the neuronal circuitry subserving working memory in healthy human subjects by repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation

Neurosci Lett. 2000 Feb 25;280(3):167-70. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3940(00)00798-9.


We studied the effect of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on changes in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) as revealed by positron emission tomography (PET) while subjects performed a 2-back verbal working memory (WM) task. rTMS to the right or left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), but not to the midline frontal cortex, significantly worsened performance in the WM task while inducing significant reductions in rCBF at the stimulation site and in distant brain regions. These results for the first time demonstrate the ability of rTMS to produce temporary functional lesions in elements of a neuronal network thus changing its distributed activations and resulting in behavioral consequences.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain / radiation effects
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / radiation effects
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology
  • Frontal Lobe / radiation effects
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Memory / radiation effects
  • Nerve Net
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Neurons / radiation effects
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / radiation effects
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation*