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The experimental combination of rTMS and fMRI reveals the functional relevance of parietal cortex for visuospatial functions

Sack, A. T., Hubl, D., Prvulovic, D., Formisano, E., Jandl, M., Zanella, F. E., Maurer, K., Goebel, R., Dierks, T. and Linden, David Edmund Johannes 2002. The experimental combination of rTMS and fMRI reveals the functional relevance of parietal cortex for visuospatial functions. Cognitive Brain Research 13 (1) , pp. 85-93. 10.1016/S0926-6410(01)00087-8

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We combined repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the functional relevance of parietal cortex activation during the performance of visuospatial tasks. fMRI provides information about local transient changes in neuronal activation during behavioural or cognitive tasks. Information on the functional relevance of this activation was obtained by using rTMS to induce temporary regional deactivations. We thereby turned the physiological parameter of brain activity into an independent variable controlled and manipulated by the experimenter and investigated its effect on the performance of the cognitive tasks within a controlled experimental design. We investigated cognitive tasks that were performed on the same visual material but differed in the demand on visuospatial functions. For the visuospatial tasks we found a selective enhancement of fMRI signal in the superior parietal lobule (SPL) and a selective impairment of performance after rTMS to this region in comparison to a control group. We could thus show that the parietal cortex is functionally important for the execution of spatial judgements on visually presented material and that TMS as an experimental tool has the potential to interfere with higher cognitive functions such as visuospatial information processing.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: Parietal cortex; Functional lesion; Visuospatial function; rTMS; fMRI
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0926-6410
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:13

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