Mechanism of Neural Interference by Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: Network or Single Neuron?

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 16 (NIPS 2003)

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Yoichi Miyawaki, Masato Okada


This paper proposes neural mechanisms of transcranial magnetic stim- ulation (TMS). TMS can stimulate the brain non-invasively through a brief magnetic pulse delivered by a coil placed on the scalp, interfering with specific cortical functions with a high temporal resolution. Due to these advantages, TMS has been a popular experimental tool in various neuroscience fields. However, the neural mechanisms underlying TMS- induced interference are still unknown; a theoretical basis for TMS has not been developed. This paper provides computational evidence that in- hibitory interactions in a neural population, not an isolated single neuron, play a critical role in yielding the neural interference induced by TMS.