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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Systematic assessment of training-induced changes in corticospinal output to hand using frameless stereotaxic transcranial magnetic stimulation.

  • Author(s): Kleim, Jeffrey A
  • Kleim, Erin D
  • Cramer, Steven C
  • et al.

Measuring changes in the characteristics of corticospinal output has become a critical part of assessing the impact of motor experience on cortical organization in both the intact and injured human brain. In this protocol we describe a method for systematically assessing training-induced changes in corticospinal output that integrates volumetric anatomical MRI with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). A TMS coil is sited to a target grid superimposed onto a 3D MRI of cortex using a stereotaxic neuronavigation system. Subjects are then required to exercise the first dorsal interosseus (FDI) muscle on two different tasks for a total of 30 min. The protocol allows for reliably and repeatedly detecting changes in corticospinal output to FDI muscle in response to brief periods of motor training.

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