Time-course of "off-line" prefrontal rTMS effects--a PET study

Neuroimage. 2008 Aug 1;42(1):379-84. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2008.04.172. Epub 2008 Apr 20.


Low-frequency "off-line" repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over the course of several minutes has attained considerable attention as a research tool in cognitive neuroscience due to its ability to induce functional disruptions of brain areas. This disruptive rTMS effect is highly valuable for revealing a causal relationship between brain and behavior. However, its influence on remote interconnected areas and, more importantly, the duration of the induced neurophysiological effects, remain unknown. These aspects are critical for a study design in the context of cognitive neuroscience. In order to investigate these issues, 12 healthy male subjects underwent 8 H(2)(15)O positron emission tomography (PET) scans after application of long-train low-frequency rTMS to the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Immediately after the stimulation train, regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) increases were present under the stimulation site as well as in other prefrontal cortical areas, including the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) ipsilateral to the stimulation site. The mean increases in rCBF returned to baseline within 9 min. The duration of this unilateral prefrontal rTMS effect on rCBF is of particular interest to those who aim to influence behavior in cognitive paradigms that use an "off-line" approach.

MeSH terms

  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / diagnostic imaging*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation / methods*
  • Young Adult