Enhancement of long-range EEG coherence by synchronous bifocal transcranial magnetic stimulation

Authors


Dr C. Plewnia, as above.
E-mail: christian.plewnia@uni-tuebingen.de

Abstract

Interregional coupling of distant brain regions can be measured by electroencephalographic (EEG) coherence reflecting the spatial–temporal correlation between two oscillatory signals. It has been suggested that this coherence in activity is a signature of functional integration of multimodal neuronal networks. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a well-established technique for non-invasive cortical stimulation. Its modulating effects outlast the train of stimulation and affect behavior. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that cortico-cortical coherence between distant brain areas can be selectively enhanced by synchronous bifocal rTMS. Cortico-cortical coherence was assessed in 16 healthy human subjects before and after three trains of synchronous high-frequency (10 Hz) rTMS to the left primary motor cortex and the visual cortex at the occipital pole simultaneously. Stimulation of the left M1 alone served as the control condition. Coherence and spectral power were measured between these areas on the stimulated and the homologue contralateral side. Synchronous bifocal rTMS induced an increase of interregional coupling in the alpha and lower beta band on the stimulated side without effects on spectral power. These data indicate that synchronous bifocal rTMS is a feasible technique for selective modulation of interregional EEG coherence. Furthermore, they raise the hypothesis that interventional enhancement of long-range coherence may effectively modulate interregional integration with behavioral consequences.

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