Transcranial magnetic stimulation over the right temporoparietal junction influences the sense of agency in healthy humans.

Zito, Giuseppe A.; Anderegg, Laura B.; Apazoglou, Kallia; Müri, René M.; Wiest, Roland; grosse Holtforth, Martin; Aybek, Selma (2020). Transcranial magnetic stimulation over the right temporoparietal junction influences the sense of agency in healthy humans. Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience JPN, 45(4), pp. 271-278. Canadian Medical Association 10.1503/jpn.190099

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Background

The sense of agency is an important aspect of motor control. Impaired sense of agency has been linked to several medical conditions, including schizophrenia and functional neurological disorders. A complex brain network subserves the sense of agency, and the right temporoparietal junction is one of its main nodes. In this paper, we tested whether transcranial magnetic stimulation over the right temporoparietal junction elicited behavioural changes in the sense of agency.

Methods

In experiment 1, 15 healthy participants performed a behavioural task during functional MRI, with the goal of localizing the area relevant for the sense of agency in the right temporoparietal junction. In the task, the movement of a cursor (controlled by the participants) was artificially manipulated, and the sense of agency was either diminished (turbulence) or enhanced (magic). In experiment 2, we applied transcranial magnetic stimulation in 20 healthy participants in a sham-controlled, crossover trial with excitatory, inhibitory or sham (vertex) stimulation. We measured the summary agency score, an indicator of the sense of agency (lower values correspond to diminished sense of agency).

Results

Experiment 1 revealed a peak of activation during agency manipulation in the right temporoparietal junction (Montreal Neurological Institute coordinates x, y, z: 68, -26, 34). Experiment 2 showed that inhibition of the right temporoparietal junction significantly reduced the summary agency score in both turbulence (from -14.4 ± 11.4% to -22.5 ± 8.9%), and magic (from -0.7 ± 5.8% to -4.4 ± 4.4%).

Limitations

We found no excitatory effects, possibly because of a ceiling effect (because healthy participants have a normal sense of agency) or noneffectiveness of the excitatory protocol.

Conclusion

Our experiments showed that the network subserving the sense of agency was amenable to neuromodulation in healthy participants. This sets the ground for further research in patients with impaired sense of agency. Clinical trial identification: DRKS00012992 (German clinical trials registry).

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > Forschungsbereich Pavillon 52 > Forschungsgruppe Perzeption und Okulomotorik
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > DCR Unit Sahli Building > Forschungsgruppe Neurologie

UniBE Contributor:

Zito, Giuseppe Angelo; Müri, René Martin; Wiest, Roland; grosse Holtforth, Martin and Aybek, Selma

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

1180-4882

Publisher:

Canadian Medical Association

Language:

English

Submitter:

Martin Zbinden

Date Deposited:

12 May 2020 09:39

Last Modified:

14 Aug 2020 17:24

Publisher DOI:

10.1503/jpn.190099

PubMed ID:

32329986

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.143921

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/143921

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