Published in: Neuropsychologia, Volume 110, February 2018, 190-196
“Autobiographical Memory (AM) retrieval refers to recollection of experienced past events. Previous Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) studies have shown that presentation of emotional negative stimuli affects human motor cortexexcitability resulting in larger motor evoked potentials (MEPs). Up to date no TMS studies have been carried out in order to investigate the effect of personal memories with negative emotional value on corticospinal excitability. In this study we hypothesized that negative AM retrieval will modulate corticomotor excitability and sensorimotor integration as determined by TMS neurophysiological parameters. Furthermore, we investigated whether TMS responses during retrieval of negative AM are associated with specific personality traits.
Twelve healthy subjects were asked to recall either a negative or a neutral AM across two different days in a randomized order. During this memory retrieval, the following TMS parameters were recorded: MEPs; Short- interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and Intracortical facilitation (ICF); Short-latency afferent inhibition (SAI) and Long- latency afferent inhibition (LAI). Personality traits were assessed by using the Big Five scale. Statistical analysis was performed using factorial ANOVAs and multiple linear regression models. When compared to retrieval of neutral AM, recollection of negative AM induced a larger increase in MEP amplitude, an increase in ICF, and a decrease in SAI. The neuroticismpersonality trait was a significant predictor of the MEP amplitude increase during retrieval of negative AM. Altogether these results indicate that cortical excitability and sensorimotor integration are selectively modulated by the valence of AM. These results provide the first TMS evidence that the modulatory effect of the AM retrieval is associated with specific personality traits.”
Written by: Ludovico Mineo, Carmen Concerto, Dhaval Patel, Tyrone Mayorga, Eileen Chusid, Carmenrita Infortuna, Eugenio Aguglia, Yasmin Sarraf, Fortunato Battaglia
For full text: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.04.016