TMS evidence for a selective role of the precuneus in source memory retrieval

Sonia Bonnì, Domenica Veniero, Chiara Mastropasqua, Viviana Ponzo, Carlo Caltagirone, Marco Bozzali, Giacomo Koch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The posteromedial cortex including the precuneus (PC) is thought to be involved in episodic memory retrieval. Here we used continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) to disentangle the role of the precuneus in the recognition memory process in a sample of healthy subjects. During the encoding phase, subjects were presented with a series of colored pictures. Afterwards, during the retrieval phase, all previously presented items and a sample of new pictures were presented in black, and subjects were asked to indicate whether each item was new or old, and in the latter case to indicate the associated color. cTBS was delivered over PC, posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and vertex before the retrieval phase. The data were analyzed in terms of hits, false alarms, source errors and omissions. cTBS over the precuneus, but not over the PPC or the vertex, induced a selective decrease in source memory errors, indicating an improvement in context retrieval. All the other accuracy measurements were unchanged. These findings suggest a direct implication of the precuneus in successful context-dependent retrieval.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-75
Number of pages6
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Continuous theta burst stimulation
  • Precuneus
  • Retrieval
  • Source memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Medicine(all)

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