Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is often used to understand the function of individual brain regions, but this ignores the fact that TMS may affect network-level rather than nodal-level processes. We examine the effects of a double perturbation to two frontoparietal network nodes, compared with the effects of single lesions to either node. We hypothesized that Bayesian evidence for the absence of effects that build upon one another indicates that a single perturbation is consequential to network-level processes. Twenty-three humans performed pro-saccades (look toward) and anti-saccades (look away) after receiving continuous theta-burst stimulation (cTBS) to right frontal eye fields (FEFs), dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), or somatosensory cortex (S1; the control region). On a subset of trials, a TMS pulse was applied to right posterior parietal cortex (PPC). FEF, DLPFC, and PPC are important frontoparietal network nodes for generating anti-saccades. Bayesian t tests were used to test hypotheses for enhanced double perturbation effects (cTBS plus TMS pulse) on saccade behaviors, against the alternative hypothesis that double perturbation effects to a network are not greater than single perturbation effects. In one case, we observed strong evidence [Bayes factor (BF10) = 325] that PPC TMS following DLPFC cTBS enhanced impairments in ipsilateral anti-saccade amplitudes over DLPFC cTBS alone, and not over the effect of the PPC pulse alone (BF10 = 0.75), suggesting that double perturbation effects do not augment one another. Rather, this suggests that computations are distributed across the network, and in some cases there can be compensation for cTBS perturbations.
- Frontal eye fields
- Parietal cortex
- Prefrontal cortex
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation