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Neurobiological Correlates of Inhibition of the Right Broca Homolog during New-Word Learning

Published inFrontiers in human neuroscience, vol. 10, no. 371
Publication date2016
Abstract

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has demonstrated beneficial effects on motor learning. It would be important to obtain a similar enhancement for verbal learning. However, previous studies have mostly assessed short-term effects of rTMS on language performance and the effect on learning is largely unknown. This study examined whether an inhibition of the right Broca homolog has long-term impact on neural processes underlying the acquisition of new words in healthy individuals. Sixteen young participants trained a new-word learning paradigm with rare, mostly unknown objects and their corresponding words immediately after continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) or sham stimulation of right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) in a cross-over design. Neural effects were assessed with electroencephalography (EEG) source power analyses during the naming task as well as coherence analyses at rest 1 day before and after training. Inhibition of the right Broca homolog did not affect new word learning performance at the group level. Behavioral and neural responses to cTBS were variable across participants and were associated with the magnitude of resting-state alpha-band coherence between the stimulated area and the rest of the brain before stimulation. Only participants with high intrinsic alpha-band coherence between the stimulated area and the rest of the brain before stimulation showed the expected inhibition during naming and greater learning performance. In conclusion, our study confirms that cTBS can induce lasting modulations of neural processes which are associated with learning, but the effect depends on the individual network state.

Citation (ISO format)
NICOLO, Pierre et al. Neurobiological Correlates of Inhibition of the Right Broca Homolog during New-Word Learning. In: Frontiers in human neuroscience, 2016, vol. 10, n° 371. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00371
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ISSN of the journal1662-5161
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