COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE AND NEUROPSYCHOLOGYRepetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex affects strategic decision-makingWout, Mascha van 'ta b; Kahn, René S.b; Sanfey, Alan G.d; Aleman, Andréc Author Information 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: [email protected] Received 5 August 2005; accepted 25 August 2005 NeuroReport: November 7, 2005 - Volume 16 - Issue 16 - p 1849-1852 doi: 10.1097/01.wnr.0000183907.08149.14 Buy Metrics Abstract 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. © 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.