Application of long-interval paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation to motion-sensitive visual cortex does not lead to changes in motion discrimination.
The perception of visual motion is dependent on a set of occipitotemporal regions that are readily accessible to neuromodulation. The current study tested if paired-pulse Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (ppTMS) could modulate motion perception by stimulating the occipital cortex as participants viewed near-threshold motion dot stimuli. In this sham-controlled study, fifteen subjects completed two sessions. On the first visit, resting motor threshold (RMT) was assessed, and participants performed an adaptive direction discrimination task to determine individual motion sensitivity. During the second visit, subjects performed the task with three difficulty levels as TMS pulses were delivered 150 and 50 ms prior to motion stimulus onset at 120% RMT, under the logic that the cumulative inhibitory effect of these pulses would alter motion sensitivity. ppTMS was delivered at one of two locations: 3 cm dorsal and 5 cm lateral to inion (scalp-based coordinate), or at the site of peak activation for "motion" according to the NeuroSynth fMRI database (meta-analytic coordinate). Sham stimulation was delivered on one-third of trials by tilting the coil 90°. Analyses showed no significant active-versus-sham effects of ppTMS when stimulation was delivered to the meta-analytic (p = 0.15) or scalp-based coordinates (p = 0.17), which were separated by 29 mm on average. Active-versus-sham stimulation differences did not interact with either stimulation location (p = 0.12) or difficulty (p = 0.33). These findings fail to support the hypothesis that long-interval ppTMS recruits inhibitory processes in motion-sensitive cortex but must be considered within the limited parameters used in this design.
Gamboa, OL; Brito, A; Abzug, Z; D'Arbeloff, T; Beynel, L; Wing, EA; Dannhauer, M; Palmer, H; Hilbig, SA; Crowell, CA; Liu, S; Donaldson, R; Cabeza, R; Davis, SW; Peterchev, AV; Sommer, MA; Appelbaum, LG
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