Dose-dependent enhancement of motion direction discrimination with transcranial magnetic stimulation of visual cortex


Journal Article

Abstract Despite the widespread use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in research and clinical care, the underlying mechanisms-of-actions that mediate modulatory effects remain poorly understood. To fill this gap, we studied dose–response functions of TMS for modulation of visual processing. Our approach combined electroencephalography (EEG) with application of single pulse TMS to visual cortex as participants performed a motion perception task. During participants’ first visit, motion coherence thresholds, 64-channel visual evoked potentials (VEPs), and TMS resting motor thresholds (RMT) were measured. In second and third visits, single pulse TMS was delivered 30 ms before the onset of motion or at the onset latency of the N2 VEP component derived from the first session. TMS was delivered at 0%, 80%, 100%, or 120% of RMT over the site of N2 peak activity, or at 120% over vertex. Behavioral results demonstrated a significant main effect of TMS timing on accuracy, with better performance when TMS was applied at N2-Onset timing versus Pre-Onset, as well as a significant interaction, indicating that 80% intensity produced higher accuracy than other conditions. TMS effects on VEPs showed reduced amplitudes in the 80% Pre-Onset condition, an increase for the 120% N2-Onset condition, and monotonic amplitude scaling with stimulation intensity. The N2 component was not affected by TMS. These findings reveal dose–response relationships between intensity and timing of TMS on visual perception and electrophysiological brain activity, generally indicating greater facilitation at stimulation intensities below RMT.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gamboa Arana, OL; Palmer, H; Dannhauer, M; Hile, C; Liu, S; Hamdan, R; Brito, A; Cabeza, R; Davis, S; Peterchev, A; Sommer, M; Appelbaum, L

Published Date

  • June 15, 2020

Pubmed Central ID

  • PPR:PPR176242

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1101/2020.06.14.151118