Multimodal transcranial magnetic stimulation: using concurrent neuroimaging to reveal the neural network dynamics of noninvasive brain stimulation

J. Reithler*, J.C. Peters, A.T. Sack

*Corresponding author for this work

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Since its introduction in the 1980s, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) has proven to be a versatile method to non-invasively study human brain function by reversibly altering ongoing neural processing. In addition, TMS has been explored as a therapeutic intervention in a number of neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions. However, our understanding of TMS-induced changes in neural activity patterns is still rather limited, particularly when it comes to changes in neural network dynamics beyond the cortical site directly targeted by TMS. In order to monitor both its local and remote neurophysiological effects, TMS has been combined with complementary neuroimaging methods that allow additional insights into how observed TMS effects at the behavioral level can be interpreted by taking into account the full scale of its impact throughout the brain. The current review provides a comprehensive overview of the existing multimodal TMS literature, covering studies in which TMS was combined with one of the three main neuroimaging modalities, namely Electroencephalography, Positron Emission Tomography, and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Besides constituting a reflection of the status quo in this exciting multidisciplinary research field, this review additionally reveals both convergent and divergent observations across modalities that await corroboration or resolution, thereby further guiding ongoing basic research and providing useful constraints to optimize future clinical applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-165
JournalProgress in Neurobiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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