Paper in Journal of Neurophysiology
- Ruzzoli, M., Abrahamyan, A., Clifford, C.W.G., Marzi, C.A., Miniussi, C. and Harris, J.A. (2011). The effect of tms on visual motion sensitivity: An increase in neural noise or a decrease in signal strength?. Journal of Neurophysiology, 106 (1) pp. 138-143.
The underlying mechanisms of action of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) are still a matter of debate. TMS may impair a subject's performance by increasing neural noise, suppressing the neural signal, or both. Here, we delivered a single pulse of TMS (spTMS) to V5/MT during a motion direction discrimination task while concurrently manipulating the level of noise in the motion stimulus. Our results indicate that spTMS essentially acts by suppressing the strength of the relevant visual signal. We suggest that TMS may induce a pattern of neural activity that complements the ongoing activation elicited by the sensory signal in a manner that partially impoverishes that signal.