Neural basis of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation at the single-cell Level

Maria C. Romero, Marco Davare, Marcelo Armendariz, Peter Janssen

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Sep 07, 2018
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Received Date: 21st August 2018

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) can non-invasively modulate neural activity in humans. Despite three decades of research, the spatial extent of the cortical area activated by TMS is still controversial. Moreover, how TMS interacts with task-related activity during motor behavior is unknown. We applied single-pulse TMS over the macaque parietal cortex while recording single-unit activity at various distances from the center of stimulation during grasping. The spatial extent of the TMS-induced activation was remarkably restricted, affecting single neurons in a volume of cortex measuring less than 2 mm. In task-related neurons, TMS evoked a transient excitation followed by reduced activity, which was paralleled by a significantly longer grasping time. Furthermore, TMS-induced activity and task-related activity did not summate in single neurons. These results furnish crucial experimental evidence for the neural basis of the TMS effect at the single-cell level and uncover, the neural underpinnings of behavioral effects of TMS.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

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