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Type: Journal article
Title: Effects of rTMS on the brain: is there value in variability?
Author: Goldsworthy, M.R.
Hordacre, B.
Rothwell, J.C.
Ridding, M.C.
Citation: Cortex, 2021; 139:43-59
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2021
ISSN: 0010-9452
Statement of
Mitchell R.Goldsworthy, Brenton Hordacre, John C.Rothwell, Michael C.Ridding
Abstract: The ability of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to non-invasively induce neuroplasticity in the human cortex has opened exciting possibilities for its application in both basic and clinical research. Changes in the amplitude of motor evoked potentials (MEPs) elicited by single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation has so far provided a convenient model for exploring the neurophysiology of rTMS effects on the brain, influencing the ways in which these stimulation protocols have been applied therapeutically. However, a growing number of studies have reported large inter-individual variability in the mean MEP response to rTMS, raising legitimate questions about the usefulness of this model for guiding therapy. Although the increasing application of different neuroimaging approaches has made it possible to probe rTMS-induced neuroplasticity outside the motor cortex to measure changes in neural activity that impact other aspects of human behaviour, the high variability of rTMS effects on these measurements remains an important issue for the field to address. In this review, we seek to move away from the conventional facilitation/inhibition dichotomy that permeates much of the rTMS literature, presenting a non-standard approach for measuring rTMS-induced neuroplasticity. We consider the evidence that rTMS is able to modulate an individual's moment-to-moment variability of neural activity, and whether this could have implications for guiding the therapeutic application of rTMS.
Keywords: Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation; neuroplasticity; motor evoked potential; neuroimaging; variability
Rights: © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2021.02.024
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Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 4
Psychology publications

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