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by phil on Saturday Aug 30, 2003 1:00 AM
brain, science of
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) involves the noninvasive stimulation of the cerebral cortex using rapidly alternating magnetic fields. TMS is a brain intervention that can be stereotaxically targeted to individual anatomy and used to alter the expression and functioning of networks. Functional neuroimaging plays an important role in the identification of brain networks involved in specific cognitive tasks, and multivariate network analysis tools can further specify individual differences in the degree of network expression that relate to aspects of cognitive reserve and compensation. As a natural complement to imaging, TMS can focally modulate these networks to demonstrate their functional significance in the performance of specific cognitive operations. As such, TMS can play a unique role in both the testing of networks susceptible to sleep deprivation defined by fMRI or PET, and the modulation of the expression of those networks to alter behavior with the goal of optimizing performance. Examples of the use of TMS to identify separable networks involved in (1) the visual perception of the speed and direction of moving stimuli, and (2) motor control, will be presented to illustrate this approach to network identification and modulation.