A network approach to response inhibition and aggression : combining functional imaging and non-invasive brain stimulation in the study of impulse control

F. Dambacher

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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This research focuses on the identification of neural networks within the brain responsible for inhibition, i.e. the holding back of impulsive reactions. By means of functional brain imaging we identified networks within the brain which are involved in response inhibition and aggression. These networks have substantial overlap within certain regions in the prefrontal cortex and subcortical structures.
When inhibiting inferior regions within the prefrontal cortex by means of Transcranial Magnetic Brain Stimulation (TMS), different forms of response inhibition (i.e. response restraint and response cancellation) were compromised. Applying this further, proactive aggressive behavior in males – on the other hand – could be decreased, when enhancing areas within the right prefrontal cortex by means of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation TDCS. This is a promising step towards a better understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying aggression and impulsivity and might result in the development of directly brain-based interventions for impulsivity related disorders in the future.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Sack, Alexander, Supervisor
  • Arntz, Arnoud, Supervisor
  • Schuhmann, Teresa, Co-Supervisor
  • Lobbestael, Jill, Co-Supervisor
Award date22 Jun 2015
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789461594488
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • impulse control
  • response inhibition
  • aggression
  • neural networks
  • non-invasive brain stimulation

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