Where does transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) stimulate? Modelling of induced field maps for some common cortical and cerebellar targets

Janine D. Bijsterbosch, Anthony T. Barker, Kwang Hyuk Lee, P. W.R. Woodruff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations

Abstract

Computational models have been be used to estimate the electric and magnetic fields induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and can provide valuable insights into the location and spatial distribution of TMS stimulation. However, there has been little translation of these findings into practical TMS research. This study uses the International 10-20 EEG electrode placement system to position a standard figure-of-eight TMS coil over 13 commonly adopted targets. Using a finite element method and an anatomically detailed and realistic head model, this study provides the first pictorial and numerical atlas of TMS-induced electric fields for a range of coil positions. The results highlight the importance of subject-specific gyral folding patterns and of local thickness of subarachnoid cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Our modelling shows that high electric fields occur primarily on the peaks of those gyri which have only a thin layer of CSF above them. These findings have important implications for inter-individual generalizability of the TMS-induced electric field. We propose that, in order to determine with accuracy the site of stimulation for an individual subject, it is necessary to solve the electric field distribution using subject-specific anatomy obtained from a high-resolution imaging modality such as MRI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-681
Number of pages11
JournalMedical and Biological Engineering and Computing
Volume50
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012

Keywords

  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Electric field
  • Finite element method
  • Site of stimulation
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

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