We combined continuous theta-burst stimulation (cTBS) and resting state (RS)-fMRI approaches to investigate changes in functional connectivity (FC) induced by right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC)-cTBS at rest in a group of healthy subjects. Seed-based fMRI analysis revealed a specific pattern of correlation between the right prefrontal cortex and several brain regions: based on these results, we defined a 29-node network to assess changes in each network connection before and after, respectively, DLPFC-cTBS and sham sessions. A decrease of correlation between the right prefrontal cortex and right parietal cortex (Brodmann areas 46 and 40, respectively) was detected after cTBS, while no significant result was found when analyzing sham-session data. To our knowledge, this is the first study that demonstrates within-subject changes in FC induced by cTBS applied on prefrontal area. The possibility to induce selective changes in a specific region without interfering with functionally correlated area could have several implications for the study of functional properties of the brain, and for the emerging therapeutic strategies based on transcranial stimulation.
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