Ventral prefrontal cortex and emotion regulation in aging: A case for utilizing transcranial magnetic stimulation

Joseph U. Kim, Sara L. Weisenbach, David H. Zald

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objectives: The ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC) has been speculated to play an important role in complex processes that allow emotional factors to influence human cognition. Accumulating evidence from human neuroimaging studies, in conjunction with studies of patients with lesions and animal models, shed light on the role of the vlPFC in emotion regulation (ER). This review aims to discuss and integrate recent findings related to vlPFC's role in ER in the context of aging, drawing from diverse sources, and suggest future directions for research utilizing transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Methods/Design: We summarize findings from the existing literature investigating the neural basis of frontal-lobe mediated ER and then highlight major findings from recent studies directly comparing healthy younger and older adult groups. We conclude by pointing to unaddressed questions worth pursuing in future research. Results and Discussion: We propose future research directions utilizing TMS to answer key unaddressed questions. Moreover, we discuss the potential advantages, challenges, and limitations of using TMS as a complement to the existing neuroimaging methods in ER.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-222
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


  • emotion regulation
  • neuroimaging
  • transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • ventral prefrontal cortex


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