Transcranial magnetic stimulation: studying the brain--behaviour relationship by induction of ‘virtual lesions’

Alvaro Pascual-Leone

Abstract

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) provides a non-invasive method of induction of a focal current in the brain and transient modulation of the function of the targeted cortex. Despite limited understanding about focality and mechanisms of action, TMS provides a unique opportunity of studying brain-behaviour relations in normal humans. TMS can enhance the results of other neuroimaging techniques by establishing the causal link between brain activity and task performance, and by exploring functional brain connectivity.