Individual Activation Patterns After the Stimulation of Different Motor Areas: A Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation–Electroencephalography Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Research units

  • University of Helsinki


The combination of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and electroencephalography (EEG) enables one to study effective connectivity and activation order in neuronal networks. To characterize effective connectivity originating from the primary motor cortex (M1), dorsal premotor area (PMd), and supplementary motor area (SMA). Three right-handed volunteers (two men, aged 25–30 years) participated in a navigated TMS–EEG experiment. M1, PMd, and SMA over the nondominant hemisphere were stimulated with 150 TMS pulses. Minimum-norm estimates were derived from the EEG data to estimate the spatial spreading of TMS-elicited neuronal activation on an individual level. The activation order of the cortical areas varied depending on the stimulated area. There were similarities and differences in the spatial distribution of the TMS-evoked potentials between subjects. Similarities in cortical activation patterns were seen at short poststimulus latencies and the differences at long latencies. This pilot study suggests that cortical activation patterns and the activation order of motor areas differ interindividually and depend on the stimulated motor area. It further indicates that TMS-activated effective connections or underlying structural connections vary between subjects. The spatial patterns of TMS-evoked potentials differ between subjects especially at long latencies, when probably more complex neuronal networks are active.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-428
Number of pages9
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sep 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • connectivity, electroencephalography, minimum-norm estimate, motor cortex, transcranial magnetic stimulation

ID: 28055741