Effects of 10 Hz rTMS on the neural efficiency of working memory

Gilbert Preston, Erik Anderson, Claudio Silva, Terry Goldberg, Eric M. Wassermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Working memory (WM) has been described as short-term retention of information that is no longer accessible in the environment, and the manipulation of this information for subsequent use in guiding behavior. WM is viewed as a cognitive process underlying higher-order cognitive functions. Evidence supports a critical role for PFC in mediating WM performance. Studies show psychomotor processing speed and accuracy account for considerable variance in neural efficiency (Ne). This study compared the relative effects of active and sham 10 Hz rTMS applied to dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) on indices of Ne in healthy participants performing a WM paradigm that models the association between WM load and task behavior [Sternberg, S. High-speed scanning in human memory. Science, 153, 652-654, 1966]. Previous studies identified a relationship between diminished Ne and impaired WM across a broad array of clinical disorders. In the present study, the authors predicted there would be a main effect of stimulation group (STM) on accuracy (SCR) and processing speed (RT), hence, Ne. We observed a main effect of STM for RT without an effect on SCR; even so, there was a robust effect of STMon Ne.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-456
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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