Concurrent TMS and functional magnetic resonance imaging: methods and current advances

Sven Bestmann, Christian C. Ruff, Jon Driver and Felix Blankenburg

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

 Concurrent TMS and functional magnetic resonance imaging: methods and current advances

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  • Neuropsychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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Transcranial magnetic stimulation is used for a wide range of applications in cognitive, clinical, and neuroscience. However, the precise physiological mechanisms by which TMS influences brain function are only partially understood. Combining TMS with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) provides a more complete picture of the neural underpinnings of TMS effects. This article gives an overview of methodology and technical aspects concerned with combining TMS with fMRI. Furthermore, it explains the challenges involved with the combination of TMS with fMRI and proposes solutions to the same. It also focuses on recent applications of concurrent TMS-fMRI. Combining TMS with fMRI may allow a new noninvasive probe technique for the human brain. TMS-fMRI can be used to compare TMS-evoked effective connectivity in health and disease. It can potentially be used to investigate connectivity changes during different states, with different degrees of involvement for interconnected brain regions during different tasks.

Keywords: transcranial magnetic stimulation; functional magnetic resonance imaging; noninvasive; brain; connectivity changes; brain regions

Article.  12965 words. 

Subjects: Neuropsychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

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