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Low frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation of right posterior parietal cortex reduces reaction time to perithreshold low spatial frequency visual stimuli

Abstract : Research in humans and animal models suggests that visual responses in early visual cortical areas may be modulated by top-down influences from distant cortical areas, particularly in the frontal and parietal regions. The right posterior parietal cortex is part of a broad cortical network involved in aspects of visual search and attention, but its role in modulating activity in early visual cortical areas is less well understood. This study evaluated the influence of right posterior parietal cortex (PPC) on a direct measure of visual processing in humans. Contrast sensitivity (CS) and detection response times were recorded using a visual detection paradigm to two types of centrally-presented stimuli. Participants were tested on the detection task before, after, and 1 hour after low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to the right PPC or to the scalp vertex. Low-frequency rTMS to the right PPC did not significantly change measures of contrast sensitivity, but increased the speed at which participants responded to visual stimuli of low spatial frequency. Response times returned to baseline 1-hour after rTMS. These data indicate that low frequency rTMS to the right PPC speeds up aspects of early visual processing, likely due to a disinhibition of the homotopic left posterior parietal cortex.
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Submitted on : Monday, March 9, 2020 - 12:41:31 PM
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Seth Elkin-Frankston, Richard Rushmore, Antoni Valero-Cabré. Low frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation of right posterior parietal cortex reduces reaction time to perithreshold low spatial frequency visual stimuli. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2020, 10 (1), pp.3162. ⟨10.1038/s41598-020-59662-4⟩. ⟨inserm-02502552⟩

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