High frequency rTMS over the left parietal lobule increases non-word reading accuracy

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Increasing evidence in the literature supports the usefulness of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in studying reading processes. Two brain regions are primarily involved in phonological decoding: the left superior temporal gyrus (STG), which is associated with the auditory representation of spoken words, and the left inferior parietal lobe (IPL), which operates in phonological computation. This study aimed to clarify the specific contribution of IPL and STG to reading aloud and to evaluate the possibility of modulating healthy participants' task performance using high frequency repetitive TMS (hf-rTMS).The main finding is that hf-rTMS over the left IPL improves non-word reading accuracy (fewer errors), whereas hf-rTMS over the right STG selectively decreases text-reading accuracy (more errors).These results confirm the prevalent role of the left IPL in grapheme-to-phoneme conversion. The non-word reading improvement after Left-IPL stimulation provide a direct link between left IPL activation and advantages in sublexical procedures, mainly involved in non-word reading. Results indicate also the specific involvement of STG in reading morphologically complex words and in processing the representation of the text. The text reading impairment after stimulation of the right STG can be interpreted in light of an inhibitory influence on the homologous area.In sum, data document that hf-rTMS is effective in modulating the reading accuracy of expert readers and that the modulation is task related and site specific. These findings suggest new perspectives for the treatment of reading disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2645-2651
Number of pages7
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012


  • Inferior parietal lobe
  • Reading
  • Superior temporal gyrus
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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