Several cross-sectional functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) studies reported a negative correlation between auditory verbal hallucination (AVH) severity and amplitude of the activations during language tasks. The present study assessed the time course of this correlation and its possible structural underpinnings by combining structural, functional MRI and repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS). Methods: Nine schizophrenia patients with AVH (evaluated with the Auditory Hallucination Rating scale; AHRS) and nine healthy participants underwent two sessions of an fMRI speech listening paradigm. Meanwhile, patients received high frequency (20 Hz) rTMS. Results: Before rTMS, activations were negatively correlated with AHRS in a left posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) cluster, considered henceforward as a functional region of interest (fROI). After rTMS, activations in this fROI no longer correlated with AHRS. This decoupling was explained by a significant decrease of AHRS scores after rTMS that contrasted with a relative stability of cerebral activations. A voxel-based-morphometry analysis evidenced a cluster of the left pSTS where grey matter volume negatively correlated with AHRS before rTMS and positively correlated with activations in the fROI at both sessions. Conclusion: rTMS decreases the severity of AVH leading to modify the functional correlate of AVH underlain by grey matter abnormalities
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