Principles and mechanisms of transcranial magnetic stimulation

Monica A Perez, Leonardo G. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


More than 20 years ago transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was introduced as a non-invasive method to stimulate the brain of intact conscious human subjects painlessly through the scalp. Since then, an increasing number of studies in the field of motor control have used TMS to gain understanding on different aspects of human cortical physiology. In this review we will discuss the mechanisms by which TMS excites cortical neurons and the available evidence on which neuronal elements are excited by TMS, the electrophysiological markers of motor cortical function that can be examined by TMS and the role of TMS in the study of brain plasticity and motor learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-247
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pain Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009


  • Motor control
  • Motor evoked potentials
  • Motor learning
  • Plasticity
  • Primary motor cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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