Background: The combination of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with electroen-cephalography (EEG) allows for non-invasive investigation of cortical response and connectivity in human cortex. This study aimed to examine the amplitudes and latencies of each TMS-evoked potential (TEP) component induced by single-pulse TMS (spTMS) to the left motor (M1) and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) among healthy young participants (YNG), older participants (OLD), and patients with schizophrenia (SCZ). Methods: We compared the spatiotemporal characteristics of TEPs induced by spTMS among the groups. Results: Compared to YNG, M1-spTMS induced lower amplitudes of N45 and P180 in OLD and a lower amplitude of P180 in SCZ, whereas the DLPFC-spTMS induced a lower N45 in OLD. Further, OLD demonstrated latency delays in P60 after M1-spTMS and in N45-P60 over the right central region after left DLPFC-spTMS, whereas SCZ demonstrated latency delays in N45-P60 over the midline and right central regions after DLPFC-spTMS. Conclusions: These findings suggest that inhibitory and excitatory mechanisms mediating TEPs may be altered in OLD and SCZ. The amplitude and latency changes of TEPs with spTMS may reflect underlying neurophysiological changes in OLD and SCZ, respectively. The spTMS administered to M1 and the DLPFC can probe cortical functions by examining TEPs. Thus, TMS-EEG can be used to study changes in cortical connectivity and signal propagation from healthy to pathological brains.
- Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
- Motor cortex
- TMS-evoked potentials