Article

Consensus paper: combining transcranial stimulation with neuroimaging.

Department of Neurology, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, Germany.
Brain Stimulation (Impact Factor: 5.43). 04/2009; 2(2):58-80. DOI: 10.1016/j.brs.2008.11.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In the last decade, combined transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)-neuroimaging studies have greatly stimulated research in the field of TMS and neuroimaging. Here, we review how TMS can be combined with various neuroimaging techniques to investigate human brain function. When applied during neuroimaging (online approach), TMS can be used to test how focal cortex stimulation acutely modifies the activity and connectivity in the stimulated neuronal circuits. TMS and neuroimaging can also be separated in time (offline approach). A conditioning session of repetitive TMS (rTMS) may be used to induce rapid reorganization in functional brain networks. The temporospatial patterns of TMS-induced reorganization can be subsequently mapped by using neuroimaging methods. Alternatively, neuroimaging may be performed first to localize brain areas that are involved in a given task. The temporospatial information obtained by neuroimaging can be used to define the optimal site and time point of stimulation in a subsequent experiment in which TMS is used to probe the functional contribution of the stimulated area to a specific task. In this review, we first address some general methodologic issues that need to be taken into account when using TMS in the context of neuroimaging. We then discuss the use of specific brain mapping techniques in conjunction with TMS. We emphasize that the various neuroimaging techniques offer complementary information and have different methodologic strengths and weaknesses.

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