Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive method used to alter neuronal excitability across the scalp. Weak electric currents are generated in the outer layer of the brain using electromagnetic induction, allowing the study of specific cortical mechanisms (excitation/inhibition, neural plasticity) and brain connectivity in humans.
MBI houses the Magventure Magpro X100 with MagOption unit and several different coil types including non-cooled and cooled figure-of-eight designs. The Magventure system offers a wide range of functionality, enabling implementation of various experimental paradigms including:
- Single and paired pulse stimulation
- Repetitive stimulation
Additionally, there is a Brainsight TMS neuronavigation system that enables precise and individual navigation of a TMS coil above a specific anatomical area in the brain, as well as imaging-guided navigation of the TMS coil to functionally defined brain regions-of-interest.
We also have a range of sensors that connect to a PowerLab 26T data acquisition device, such as the BioAmp cable that can be used to record EMG signals.
In addition, the TMS laboratory houses a Compumedics Synamps2 EEG system with TMS-compatible EEG caps (EASYCAP) dedicated for concurrent TMS-EEG research.
Research using TMS at MBI
Monash University researcher, Dr Nigel Rogasch, is using MBI's TMS equipment to investigate how to best harness brain plasticity.
He is applying a multi-modal approach to bridge the gap between molecular, cellular, and system-level explanations of TMS-induced plasticity in humans, and will use a combination of molecular genetics, electrophysiology, biophysical modelling, and experimental manipulation to uncover the physiological mechanisms of variability in TMS-induced plasticity across the cerebral cortex. Read more about Dr Rogasch's research.