TMS stimulation coils

Charles M. Epstein

in Oxford Handbook of Transcranial Stimulation

Published in print January 2008 | ISBN: 9780198568926
Published online November 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191744013 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 TMS stimulation coils

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  • Neuropsychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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The simplest transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) coil is a circular one. The induced current is maximum near the outer edge of the coil while the magnetic field is the maximum under the center of the coil. TMS coils have good penetration to the cerebral cortex. They are commonly placed at the cranial vertex, where they can stimulate both hemispheres simultaneously. The main drawback of circular coils is their lack of focality. Several complex designs for multiloop coils have been proposed to increase the focality or improve the penetration to deep brain structures. This article describes factors of TMS coil design such as mechanical forces and coil lead wires, cooling systems, materials of construction of coil windings, etc. To reduce the risk of lethal electrical shock the entire high-voltage power system, including the lead wires and stimulation coil, must be isolated from earth ground.

Keywords: TMS coil; induced current; magnetic field; focality; multiloop coils; cerebral cortex

Article.  4557 words. 

Subjects: Neuropsychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

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