Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


College of Science and Mathematics



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Julian Paul Keenan

Committee Member

Christos Suriano

Committee Member

Ruth Propper


The Cluster B personality disorders (PDs) include antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), borderline personality disorder (BPD), narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), and histrionic personality disorder (HPD). With impulsivity being a commonly shared symptom across the cluster B personality disorders, specifically in BPD, the right and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) was targeted for TMS. Since these personality disorders are grouped together due to their shared ‘dramatic’ characteristics, the current study aimed to investigate the effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) on the presence of cluster B personality disorder traits in 13 healthy participants. We found that there is a significant decrease in symptoms between Sham TMS (the control) and inhibitory (1 Hz) TMS to the right DLPFC (p = 0.024). Furthermore, there is a significant decrease in symptoms between inhibitory (1 Hz) TMS to the right DLPFC and excitatory (10 Hz) TMS to the right DLPFC (p = 0.029). No significant difference is found between TMS and NPD or reaction time (RT) and TMS. These results support previous research that the DLPFC is associated with BPD and suggests that the right DLPFC may be associated with HPD as well.

File Format