Alterations in Brain Activity Induced by Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Their Relation to Decision Making

Lexie Lawson, Stephanie Spivak, Heather Webber, Saeed Yasin, Briana Goncalves, Olivia Tarrio, Sydney Ash, Maria Ferrol, Athenia Ibragimov, Alejandro Gili Olivares, Julian Paul Keenan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Understanding the intricate dynamics between conscious choice and neural processes is crucial for unraveling the complexity of human decision-making. This study investigates the effects of inhibitory Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) on choice bias, shedding light on the malleability of cognitive-motor functions involved in decisions. While reaction times remained unaffected, inhibitory TMS to either the left or right motor cortex led to a significant bias in screen side preference during a choice task. These findings suggest that our cognitive-motor processes underlying decision-making can be unconsciously influenced by TMS. Furthermore, analysis of choice attribution categories revealed individual variability, emphasizing the complex nature of the decision-making process. These insights contribute to the ongoing exploration of the neural mechanisms governing human choice. As the neural basis of free will continues to captivate scientific inquiry, this research advances our understanding of the intricate relationship between neural circuits and conscious intention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1366
JournalBiology
Volume12
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Keywords

  • choice attribution
  • choice bias
  • cognitive-motor functions
  • conscious intention
  • decision-making
  • inhibitory TMS
  • neural circuits
  • reaction times

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