Impulsivity refers to the tendency to insufficiently consider alternatives or to overvalue rewards that are available immediately. Impulsivity is a hallmark of human decision making with well documented health and financial ramifications. Numerous contextual changes and framing manipulations powerfully influence impulsivity. One of the most robust such phenomenon is the finding that people are more patient as the values of choice options are increased. This magnitude effect has been related to cognitive control mechanisms in the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). We used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to transiently disrupt dlPFC neural activity. This manipulation dramatically reduced the magnitude effect, establishing causal evidence that the magnitude effect depends on dlPFC.
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