Laterality effects in selective attention to threat after repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation at the prefrontal cortex in female subjects

Neurosci Lett. 2000 Feb 25;280(3):195-8. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3940(00)00781-3.


Recently, several experiments have indicated that the left and right prefrontal cortex (PFC) are differently involved in emotional processing. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of the left and right PFC in selective attention to angry faces by using a pictorial emotional Stroop task. Slow repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) was applied to the left and right PFC of 10 female subjects for 15 min on separate days. Results showed a significant effect of stimulation position: right PFC rTMS resulted in selective attention towards angry faces, whereas left PFC rTMS resulted in selective attention away from angry faces. This finding is in accordance with theoretical accounts of the neural implementation of approach and withdrawal systems.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anger
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Attention / radiation effects
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / radiation effects*
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation*