Higher cognitive functions: memory and reasoning

Simone Rossi, Stefano F. Cappa and Paolo Maria Rossini

in Oxford Handbook of Transcranial Stimulation

Published in print January 2008 | ISBN: 9780198568926
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Higher cognitive functions: memory and reasoning

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  • Psychology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience



Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a sophisticated approach for interfering with human memory and reasoning due to its ability to transiently interfere with the functions of the specialized cortical network, especially when applied as repetitive (r)TMS. This article reviews TMS studies dealing with short-term retention, working memory, and with the episodic component of declarative memory. It also considers certain aspects of semantic memory and nonverbal reasoning. Furthermore, it discusses methodological considerations about the experimental designs, which can be used for the investigation of human cognitive functions. This article emphasizes the fact that higher cognitive functions provide an example as to how underlying physiological mechanisms cannot be fully disclosed by investigations based on a single technique. Studies to develop a true multimodal approach are being undertaken. In this light, behavioural interference studies will gain new power in combination with disruptive and correlational methodologies, establishing causality in a more sophisticated manner.

Keywords: short-term retention; declarative memory; semantic memory; nonverbal reasoning; cognitive functions; behavioural interference

Article.  10485 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Neuropsychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

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