transcortical magnetic stimulation

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A painless and non-invasive technique for studying brain function by applying a pulsed magnetic field across the skull, first used as an aid to neurological examination, by stimulating regions of the motor cortex and observing body movements to confirm that the corresponding neural pathways were intact. Depending on the precise positioning of the magnetic field and the pulse frequency, the stimulation elicits evoked potentials and can affect visual perception, memory, reaction time, speech, and mood. In the late 1980s it began to be used as a method of functional brain mapping and as a research tool, and it was also investigated as a possible treatment method for certain forms of mental disorder. Also called transcranial magnetic stimulation. Compare electroconvulsive therapy. TMS abbrev. [From Latin trans across + cortex bark or outer layer + -icus of, relating to, or resembling + -alis of or relating to]

Subjects: Psychology.

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