Lateralized effects of prefrontal repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on emotional working memory.
Little is known about the neural correlates underlying the integration of working memory and emotion processing. We investigated the effects of low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) applied over the left or right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) on emotional working memory. In a sham-controlled crossover design, participants performed an emotional 3-back task (EMOBACK) at baseline and after stimulation (1 Hz, 15 min, 110 % of the resting motor threshold) in two subsequent sessions. Stimuli were words assigned to the distinct emotion categories fear and anger as well as neutral words. We found lateralized rTMS effects in the EMOBACK task accuracy for fear-related words, with enhanced performance after rTMS applied over the right DLPFC and impaired performance after rTMS applied over the left DLPFC. No significant stimulation effect could be found for anger-related and neutral words. Our findings are the first to demonstrate a causal role of the right DLPFC in working memory for negative, withdrawal-related words and provide further support for a hemispheric lateralization of emotion processing.
Weigand, A; Grimm, S; Astalosch, A; Guo, JS; Briesemeister, BB; Lisanby, SH; Luber, B; Bajbouj, M
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