While most human neuroscience methods allow researchers to correlate brain activity with behavior, with transcranial magnetic stimulation (or TMS) researchers can directly manipulate neural activity in a safe manner. TMS can induce virtual “lesions” for brief windows of time to produce short-lasting behavioral or perceptual deficits. The TMS Lab houses two single pulse, monophasic stimulators and a variety of coil types to allow one to perform dual-site stimulation experiments. These experiments are guided using infrared tracking and MRI imaging with a neuro-navigation system.

Technical Details

The TMS laboratory, located in room C26A, houses two single pulse, monophasic stimulators (Magstim 200 Mono Pulse). The stimulators are triggered either manually or by the control computer via digital I/O. Users have a choice between two 70-mm double coils and two 90-mm circular coils, capable of a maximum magnetic field of 2.2T and 2.0T, respectively. Each stimulator outputs TTL triggers to a Response Time Box for accurate time stamps.

Coil positioning is performed with image-guided neuro-navigation via a Rogue Research Brainsight 2 system. The coils are tracked with a Northern Digital Polaris Hybrid Position Sensor that communicates with the Brainsight 2 system. Subjects are seated in a specialized Rogue Research Gen 3 TMS chair surrounded by an aluminum frame that supports coil and head positioning. The chair provides a chin rest and forehead rest and allows independent positioning of two coils. The chair may be rotated and reclined back for alternate subject positioning, depending on the needs of the experiment. The Brainsight 2 system also allows for the recording of motor-evoked potentials with a 2-channel built-in EMG device.

The laboratory also houses a 120Hz infrared eye tracker (SMI RED) underneath the stimulus display monitor. The eye tracker is controlled by PC laptop and communicates with the stimulus control desktop computer via Ethernet communication. The TMS lab has a license for the SMI Experiment Suite 360 software. This Windows software suite includes tools for eye data analysis and stimulus display.

PNI researchers interested in obtaining more detailed information regarding our TMS Lab should visit our internal Scully Facilities Wiki.