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Published November 11, 2009 | public
Journal Article

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex decreases valuations during food choices


Several studies have found decision-making-related value signals in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). However, it is unknown whether the DLPFC plays a causal role in decision-making, or whether it implements computations that are correlated with valuations, but that do not participate in the valuation process itself. We addressed this question by using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) while subjects were involved in an economic valuation task involving the consumption of real foods. We found that, as compared with a control condition, application of rTMS to the right DLPFC caused a decrease in the values assigned to the stimuli. The results are consistent with the possibility that the DLPFC plays a causal role in the computation of values at the time of choice.

Additional Information

© 2009 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Received 6 July 2009, accepted 15 September 2009. This study was supported by grants from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to A. Rangel, the CFC, and the Caltech Brain Imaging Center.

Additional details

August 19, 2023
October 19, 2023