Information-Based Approaches of Noninvasive Transcranial Brain Stimulation

Trends Neurosci. 2016 Nov;39(11):782-795. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2016.09.001. Epub 2016 Sep 30.


Progress in cognitive neuroscience relies on methodological developments to increase the specificity of knowledge obtained regarding brain function. For example, in functional neuroimaging the current trend is to study the type of information carried by brain regions rather than simply compare activation levels induced by task manipulations. In this context noninvasive transcranial brain stimulation (NTBS) in the study of cognitive functions may appear coarse and old fashioned in its conventional uses. However, in their multitude of parameters, and by coupling them with behavioral manipulations, NTBS protocols can reach the specificity of imaging techniques. Here we review the different paradigms that have aimed to accomplish this in both basic science and clinical settings and follow the general philosophy of information-based approaches.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior / physiology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain / surgery
  • Brain Mapping* / methods
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Nerve Net / pathology
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation* / methods