Facilitation of human first dorsal interosseous muscle responses to transcranial magnetic stimulation during voluntary contraction of the contralateral homonymous muscle

Muscle Nerve. 1998 Aug;21(8):1033-9. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-4598(199808)21:8<1033::aid-mus7>3.0.co;2-9.


The size of compound motor evoked potentials (cMEPs) to transcranial magnetic stimulation of the motor cortex was measured in the relaxed first dorsal interosseous muscle of the nondominant hand (ndFDI) during different levels of voluntary contraction in the homonymous muscle of the dominant hand (dFDI). cMEP responses in the ndFDI became larger when the dFDI was contracted to forces ranging 10-70% of maximum voluntary contraction. Variability in the amplitude of the cMEP responses in ndFDI decreased when dFDI was contracted. Comparison with cMEPs to spinal cord stimulation suggested a large component of the facilitation was occurring at a cortical level. The amplitude of cMEP responses in ndFDI also increased when the tibialis anterior muscle of the leg on the contralateral side was contracted. The observed facilitation of motoneurons during contraction of contralateral muscles might involve a transcallosal pathway modulating the excitability of one cortex when the other is activated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Evoked Potentials, Motor / physiology*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Hand / innervation
  • Hand / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Neurons / physiology
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / innervation
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Pyramidal Tracts / cytology
  • Pyramidal Tracts / physiology
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation*
  • Volition / physiology