Reductions in phenomenological, physiological and attentional indices of depressive mood after 2 Hz rTMS over the right parietal cortex in healthy human subjects
Jack van Honk , , , Dennis J.L.G. Schutter, Peter Putman, Edward H. F. De Haanand Alfredo A. L. d'A
Helmholtz Research Institute, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 2, 3584 CS, Utrecht, The Netherland

Research into emotion and emotional disorders by repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has largely been restricted to the prefrontal regions. There is, however, also evidence for the parietal cortex being implicated in emotional (dys-)functioning. Here we used rTMS to investigate a role of the right parietal cortex in depression. In a placebo-controlled design, 2 Hz rTMS at 90% of the individual motor threshold (MT) was applied over the right parietal cortex of eight healthy subjects for 20 min continuously. Effects on mood, autonomic activity and motivated attention were investigated. Significant reductions in depressive mood were observed immediately following and 30 min after stimulation. Moreover, these findings were objectified by a concurring pattern of autonomically mediated changes in the attentional processing of angry facial expressions. These data suggest a role for the right parietal cortex in affective brain circuits regulating phenomenological, physiological and attentional aspects of depressive functioning.




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