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


Social exclusion refers to the experience of rejection by one or more people during a social event. Cyberball, a computer program, is one of the most common tools for analyzing social exclusion. Cyberball simulates a game of catch in which any number of individuals or computer- generated players can pass a virtual ball to one another. Regions of the brain that underlies pain perception include networks lined to the Dorsal Lateral Prefrontal Cortex (DLPFC). Direct manipulation of this area may provide a better understanding of how the DLPFC can influence the perception of social exclusion. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was applied to both the left and right DLPFC to gauge different reactions to the Cyberball experience. Social exclusion responses were influenced to further explore the role of the DLPFC. It was found that there were elevated levels of agitation from 10Hz rTMS processes that excited the DLPFC.

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