Transcranial magnetic stimulation and neuroplasticity

Neuropsychologia. 1999 Feb;37(2):207-17. doi: 10.1016/s0028-3932(98)00095-5.


We review past results and present novel data to illustrate different ways in which TMS can be used to study neural plasticity. Procedural learning during the serial reaction time task (SRTT) is used as a model of neural plasticity to illustrate the applications of TMS. These different applications of TMS represent principles of use that we believe are applicable to studies of cognitive neuroscience in general and exemplify the great potential of TMS in the study of brain and behavior. We review the use of TMS for (1) cortical output mapping using focal, single-pulse TMS; (2) identification of the mechanisms underlying neuroplasticity using paired-pulse TMS techniques; (3) enhancement of the information of other neuroimaging techniques by transient disruption of cortical function using repetitive TMS; and finally (4) modulation of cortical function with repetitive TMS to influence behavior and guide plasticity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Electromagnetic Phenomena*
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Reaction Time