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Extending lifetime of plastic changes in the human brain

Authors

  • Thomas Nyffeler,

    1. Perception and Eye Movement Laboratory, Departments of Neurology and Clinical Research, University Hospital, University of Bern, Freiburgstrasse 10, 3010 Bern, Switzerland
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  • Pascal Wurtz,

    1. Perception and Eye Movement Laboratory, Departments of Neurology and Clinical Research, University Hospital, University of Bern, Freiburgstrasse 10, 3010 Bern, Switzerland
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  • Hans-Rudolf Lüscher,

    1. Institute of Physiology, University of Bern, Bühlplatz 5, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
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  • Christian W. Hess,

    1. Perception and Eye Movement Laboratory, Departments of Neurology and Clinical Research, University Hospital, University of Bern, Freiburgstrasse 10, 3010 Bern, Switzerland
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  • Walter Senn,

    1. Institute of Physiology, University of Bern, Bühlplatz 5, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
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  • Tobias Pflugshaupt,

    1. Perception and Eye Movement Laboratory, Departments of Neurology and Clinical Research, University Hospital, University of Bern, Freiburgstrasse 10, 3010 Bern, Switzerland
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  • Roman Von Wartburg,

    1. Perception and Eye Movement Laboratory, Departments of Neurology and Clinical Research, University Hospital, University of Bern, Freiburgstrasse 10, 3010 Bern, Switzerland
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  • Mathias Lüthi,

    1. Perception and Eye Movement Laboratory, Departments of Neurology and Clinical Research, University Hospital, University of Bern, Freiburgstrasse 10, 3010 Bern, Switzerland
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  • René M. Müri

    1. Perception and Eye Movement Laboratory, Departments of Neurology and Clinical Research, University Hospital, University of Bern, Freiburgstrasse 10, 3010 Bern, Switzerland
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Dr R.M. Müri, as above.
E-mail: rene.mueri@insel.ch

Abstract

The ability of the brain to adjust to changing environments and to recover from damage rests on its remarkable capacity to adapt through plastic changes of underlying neural networks. We show here with an eye movement paradigm that a lifetime of plastic changes can be extended to several hours by repeated applications of theta burst transcranial magnetic stimulation to the frontal eye field of the human cortex. The results suggest that repeated application of the same stimulation protocol consolidates short-lived plasticity into long-lasting changes.

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