How to Prepare for your TMS Experiment

Before you arrive to your TMS experiment, please ensure that you have gone over all of the questions below. Arrive at the TMS Lab at least 5 minutes before your scheduled time. A researcher will greet you at the lab and brief you on the experiment in which you are about to participate.

You will be asked to sit facing a monitor with your head in a chin rest to limit head motion. The researcher will adjust the chair and chin rest to a comfortable height before the experiment begins. Next the experimenter will position one or two devices called coils against your scalp at precise locations to target specific parts of the brain (often you will have an MRI scan performed first, on a prior day, before doing a TMS experiment). During the experiment, a camera under the monitor may track your eyes. As you perform a computer-based task, the experimenter will occasionally deliver TMS “pulses” from the coils to your scalp. These are painless magnetic pulses that sound like loud clicks, and may cause your eyes to blink or your facial muscles to slightly twitch.

After the experiment, the researcher will debrief you and you will be given the opportunity to ask questions.

Before your experiment, please go over all the following questions:

Do you have any metal in your head (outside of the mouth), such as shrapnel, surgical clips, or fragments from welding or metalwork?

The TMS coils create powerful magnetic fields that can affect or pull ferromagnetic metals. This can cause harm if those metals are embedded in the participant’s head. If you have known metal in your head, please reach out to your researcher before your scan session and inform them.

Do you have any implanted devices such as cardiac pacemakers, medical pumps, intracardiac lines, neurostimulators or cochlear implants?

We need to ensure that every implant is safe in a TMS environment. If you do have a medical implant, please inform the researcher before your scan session. It may take time to confirm the safety of the implant.

Are you wearing any external items on your head such as a hearing aid, hair clip, hairpiece, wig or toupee?

If so, you will have to remove the item before proceeding with the TMS experiment. Therefore, it is recommended that you arrive without the item on the day of the scan.

To ensure that there will be no complications that prevent you from participating in your TMS experiment, please review the TMS safety screening form below. Your experimenter will have you fill out this form upon your arrival.

Our TMS Lab is located in room C26A, on the bottom floor of the Princeton Neuroscience Institute building. The map below has been provided for your convenience.