rTMS to the right inferior parietal lobule disrupts self-other discrimination.

TitlerTMS to the right inferior parietal lobule disrupts self-other discrimination.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsUddin, LQ, Molnar-Szakacs I, Zaidel E, Iacoboni M
JournalSocial cognitive and affective neuroscience
Date Published2006 Jun
KeywordsAdult, Affect, Discrimination (Psychology), Female, Humans, Male, Parietal Lobe, Recognition (Psychology), Self Concept, Social Perception, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Self-other discrimination is fundamental to social interaction, however, little is known about the neural systems underlying this ability. In a previous functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we demonstrated that a right fronto-parietal network is activated during viewing of self-faces as compared with the faces of familiar others. Here we used image-guided repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to create a 'virtual lesion' over the parietal component of this network to test whether this region is necessary for discriminating self-faces from other familiar faces. The current results indeed show that 1 Hz rTMS to the right inferior parietal lobule (IPL) selectively disrupts performance on a self-other discrimination task. Applying 1 Hz rTMS to the left IPL had no effect. It appears that activity in the right IPL is essential to the task, thus providing for the first time evidence for a causal relation between a human brain area and this high-level cognitive capacity.

Alternate JournalSoc Cogn Affect Neurosci