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Poster B35

Attraction is Altered via Modulation of the Medial Prefrontal Cortex: A Novel Application of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Poster Session B - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Julian Keenan1 (, Sam Zorns1, Claudia Sierzputowski1, Skowron Molly1, Anthony Minervini1, Adriana LaVarco1, Sydney Ash1, Matthew Pardillo1; 1Cognitive Neuroimaging Laboratory, Montclair State University

Previous studies have demonstrated that an individual’s physical attraction fluctuates based on numerous factors including varying neural activations. By utilizing rTMS, we assessed if individuals who underwent rTMS were rated more attractive. In Phase 1, subjects (N=10) who received rTMS and had their photographs taken after each of 5 stimulation conditions in addition to making self-ratings across a number of variables including attractiveness. Phase 2 participants (N=430) rated 5 pictures of each of the Phase 1 individuals on attractiveness. It was found that there was no significance in self-assessment between any of the brain regions after being stimulated in terms of response (Phase 1). Attractiveness ratings differed significantly in Phase 2. There was a significance between 10 Hz TMS to the MPFC (p<0.001) in that the individual were rated as less attractive. Furthermore, 1 Hz TMS to the MPFC increased the number of ‘Most Attractive’ ratings while 10Hz TMS decreased the number of ‘Most Attractive’ ratings (p’s<.001). These results suggest that the MPFC plays a role in attractiveness to others. These data also support research that one’s own feelings of attractiveness may not be indicative of others’ perceptions. To our knowledge, no investigations have examined how brain stimulation may influence one’s attractiveness.

Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Person perception


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April 13–16  |  2024