Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex affects strategic decision-making

Wout, Mascha van 'ta b; Kahn, René S.b; Sanfey, Alan G.d; Aleman, Andréc

doi: 10.1097/01.wnr.0000183907.08149.14
COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE AND NEUROPSYCHOLOGY
Buy

Although decision-making is typically seen as a rational process, emotions play a role in tasks that include unfairness. Recently, activation in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during offers experienced as unfair in the Ultimatum Game was suggested to subserve goal maintenance in this task. This is restricted to correlational evidence, however, and it remains unclear whether the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is crucial for strategic decision-making. The present study used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in order to investigate the causal role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in strategic decision-making in the Ultimatum Game. The results showed that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex resulted in an altered decision-making strategy compared with sham stimulation. We conclude that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is causally implicated in strategic decision-making in healthy human study participants.

aDepartment of Psychonomics, Helmholtz Research Institute, University of Utrecht

bDepartment of Psychiatry, Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht

cBCN NeuroImaging Center, Groningen, The Netherlands

dDepartment of Psychology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA

Sponsorship: M. van 't Wout and A. Aleman were supported by a VernieuwingsImpuls grant (No. 016.026.027) of the Dutch Organization of Scientific Research (NWO)

Correspondence and requests for reprints to M. van 't Wout, Helmholtz Research Institute, University of Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 2, NL, 3584 CS Utrecht, The Netherlands

Tel: +31 30 253 2640; fax: +31 30 253 4511; e-mail: M.vantWout@fss.uu.nl

Received 5 August 2005; accepted 25 August 2005

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.