Experimentation with a transcranial magnetic stimulation system for functional brain mapping

Ettinger GJ, Leventon ME, Grimson WE, Kikinis R, Gugino L, Cote W, Sprung L, Aglio L, Shenton ME, Potts G, Hernandez VL, Alexander E

Med Image Anal 1998 Jun;2(2):133-42

PMID: 10646759


We describe functional brain mapping experiments using a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) device. This device, when placed on a subject’s scalp, stimulates the underlying neurons by generating focused magnetic field pulses. A brain mapping is then generated by measuring responses of different motor and sensory functions to this stimulation. The key process in generating this mapping is the association of the 3-D positions and orientations of the TMS probe on the scalp to a 3-D brain reconstruction such as is feasible with a magnetic resonance image (MRI). We have developed a registration system which not only generates functional brain maps using such a device, but also provides real-time feedback to guide the technician in placing the probe at appropriate points on the head to achieve the desired map resolution. Functional areas we have mapped are the motor and visual cortex. Validation experiments focus on repeatability tests for mapping the same subjects several times. Applications of the technique include neuroanatomy research, surgical planning and guidance, treatment and disease monitoring, and therapeutic procedures.