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Influence of theta-burst transcranial magnetic stimulation over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex on emotion processing in healthy volunteers

Dumitru, A; Rocchi, L; Saini, F; Rothwell, JC; Roiser, JP; David, AS; Richieri, RM; ... Lewis, G; + view all (2020) Influence of theta-burst transcranial magnetic stimulation over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex on emotion processing in healthy volunteers. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience 10.3758/s13415-020-00834-0. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation is a potential treatment option for depression, with the newer intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS) protocols providing brief intervention. However, their mechanism of action remains unclear. We investigated the hypothesis that iTBS influences brain circuits involved in emotion processing that are also affected by antidepressants. We predicted that iTBS would lead to changes in performance on emotion-processing tasks. We investigated the effects of intermittent TBS (iTBS) over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) on the processing of emotional information (word recall and categorization, facial emotion recognition, and decision-making) in 28 healthy volunteers by contrasting these effects with those of sham stimulation. Each volunteer received iTBS and sham stimulation in a blinded crossover design and completed the emotion-processing tasks before and after stimulation. Compared to sham stimulation, iTBS increased positive affective processing for word recall, yet had an unexpected effect on facial emotion recognition for happy and sad faces. There was no evidence of an effect on decision-making or word categorization. We found support for our hypothesis that iTBS influences emotion processing, though some changes were not in the expected direction. These findings suggest a possible common mechanism of action between iTBS and antidepressants, and a complex neural circuitry involved in emotion processing that could potentially be tapped into via brain stimulation. Future research should investigate the neural correlates of emotion processing more closely to inform future iTBS protocols.

Type: Article
Title: Influence of theta-burst transcranial magnetic stimulation over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex on emotion processing in healthy volunteers
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3758/s13415-020-00834-0
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3758/s13415-020-00834-0
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), Emotional processing, Theta-burst stimulation (TBS)
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Clinical and Movement Neurosciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10111543
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