Release of premotor activity after repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation of prefrontal cortex

Massimo Gangitano, Felix Mottaghy, Massimo Gangitano, Alvaro Pascual-Leone

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9 Citations (Scopus)


In the present study we aimed to explore by means of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) the reciprocal influences between prefrontal cortex (PFC) and premotor cortex (PMC). Subjects were asked to observe on a computer monitor different pictures representing manipulations of different kind of tools. They had to produce a movement (go condition) or to keep the resting position (no-go condition) at the appearance of different cue signals represented by different colors shown alternatively on the hands manipulating the tools or on the picture background. Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were collected at the offset of the visual stimuli before and after a 10 minute, 1 Hz rTMS train applied to the dorsolateral PFC (Experiment 1), to the PMC (Experiment 2) or to the primary motor cortex (Experiment 3). Following rTMS to the PFC, MEPs increased in the go condition when the cue for the go command was presented on the hand. In contrast, following rTMS to the PMC, in the same condition, MEPs were decreased. rTMS to the primary motor cortex did not produce any modulation. Results are discussed according to the presence of a visual-motor matching system in the PMC and to the role of the PFC in the attention-related processes. We hypothesize that the perceptual analysis for action selection within the PFC was modulated by rTMS and its temporary functional inactivation in turn influenced the premotor areas for motor programming.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-302
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Development
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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