Resting-state functional connectivity in the attention networks is not altered by offline theta-burst stimulation of the posterior parietal cortex or the temporo-parietal junction as compared to a vertex control site


Disruption of resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) between core regions of the dorsal attention network (DAN), including the bilateral superior parietal lobule (SPL), and structural damage of the right-lateralized ventral attention network (VAN), including the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ), have been described as neural basis for hemispatial neglect. Pursuing a virtual lesion model, we aimed to perturbate the attention networks of 22 healthy subjects by applying continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) to the right SPL or TPJ. We first created network masks of the DAN and VAN based on RSFC analyses from a RS-fMRI baseline session and determined the SPL and TPJ stimulation site within the respective mask. We then performed RS-fMRI immediately after cTBS of the SPL, TPJ (active sites) or vertex (control site). RSFC between SPL/TPJ and whole brain as well as between predefined regions of interest (ROI) in the attention networks was analyzed in a within-subject design. Contrary to our hypothesis, seed-based RSFC did not differ between the four experimental conditions. The individual change in ROI-to-ROI RSFC from baseline to post-stimulation did also not differ between active (SPL, TPJ) and control (vertex) cTBS. In our study, a single session offline cTBS over the right SPL or TPJ could not alter RSFC in the attention networks as compared to a control stimulation, maybe because effects wore off too early. Future studies should consider a modified cTBS protocol, concurrent TMS-fMRI or transcranial direct current stimulation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNeuroimage: Reports
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)

Cite this