Occipital long-interval paired pulse TMS leads to slow wave components in NREM sleep

Conscious Cogn. 2015 Sep;35:78-87. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2015.04.024. Epub 2015 May 16.


Neural correlates of conscious vs unconscious states can be studied by contrasting EEG markers of brain activity between those two states. Here, a task-free experimental setup was used to study the state dependent effects of occipital transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). EEG responses to single and paired pulse TMS with an inter-stimulus-interval (ISI) of 100 ms were investigated under Non-REM (NREM) sleep and wakefulness. In the paired pulse TMS condition adopting this long ISI, a robust positive deflection starting around 200 ms after the second pulse was found. This component was not obtained under wakefulness or when a single TMS pulse was applied in sleep. These findings are discussed in the context of NREM sleep slow waves. The present results indicate that the long interval paired-pulse paradigm could be used to manipulate plasticity processes in the visual cortex. The present setup might also become useful for evaluating states of consciousness.

Keywords: Consciousness; EEG; LICI; Paired-pulse TMS; Plasticity; Sleep; Slow waves; TMS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Waves*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuronal Plasticity*
  • Occipital Lobe*
  • Sleep Stages*
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation*
  • Wakefulness
  • Young Adult