Transcranial magnetic stimulation and the human brain

Nature. 2000 Jul 13;406(6792):147-50. doi: 10.1038/35018000.


Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is rapidly developing as a powerful, non-invasive tool for studying the human brain. A pulsed magnetic field creates current flow in the brain and can temporarily excite or inhibit specific areas. TMS of motor cortex can produce a muscle twitch or block movement; TMS of occipital cortex can produce visual phosphenes or scotomas. TMS can also alter the functioning of the brain beyond the time of stimulation, offering potential for therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology
  • Evoked Potentials, Motor
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Nervous System Diseases / therapy
  • Neuronal Plasticity
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation*