During encoding, the neural activity immediately before or during an event can predict whether that event will be later remembered. The contribution of brain activity immediately after an event to memory formation is however less known. Here, we used repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) to investigate the temporal dynamics of episodic memory encoding with a focus on post-stimulus time intervals. At encoding, rTMS was applied during the online processing of the word, at its offset, or 100, 200, 300 or 400 ms thereafter. rTMS was delivered to the left ventrolateral (VLPFC) or dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). VLPFC rTMS during the first few hundreds of milliseconds after word offset disrupted subsequent recognition accuracy. We did not observe effects of DLPFC rTMS at any time point. These results suggest that encoding-related VLPFC engagement starts at a relatively late processing stage, and may reflect brain processes related to the offset of the stimulus.
- Episodic memory
- Memory formation
- Prefrontal cortex
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology