The Role of the Cerebellum in Social and Non-Social Action Sequences: A Preliminary LF-rTMS Study

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 15 (2021)
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Abstract

An increasing number of studies demonstrated the involvement of the cerebellum in sequence processing. The current preliminary study is the first to investigate the causal involvement of the cerebellum in sequence generation, using low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. By targeting the posterior cerebellum, we hypothesized that the induced neuro-excitability modulation would lead to altered performance on a Picture and Story sequencing task, which involve the generation of the correct chronological order of various social and non-social stories depicted in cartoons or sentences. Our results indicate that participants receiving LF-rTMS over the cerebellum, as compared to sham participants, showed a stronger learning effect from pre to post stimulation for both tasks and for all types of sequences. No differences between sequence types were observed. Our results suggest a positive effect of LF-rTMS on sequence generation. We conclude that the cerebellum is causally involved in the generation of sequences of social and nonsocial events. Our discussion focuses on recommendations for future studies.

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