Motor map reliability and aging: A TMS/fMRI study

Keith M. McGregor, Haley Carpenter, Erin Kleim, Atchar Sudhyadhom, Keith D. White, Andrew J. Butler, Jeffrey Kleim, Bruce Crosson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


This study compared the reliability of motor maps over 3 sessions from both neuronavigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data between younger and older adults. Seven younger (ages 19-31) and seven older (ages 64-76) adults participated in three joint TMS/fMRI assessment sessions separated by 7 or 14 days. Sessions involved mapping of the right first dorsal interosseous muscle using single-pulse TMS immediately followed by block-design fMRI scanning involving volitional right-hand index finger to thumb oppositional squeeze. Intersession reliability of map volume, evaluated by intraclass correlation and Jaccard Coefficient between testing sessions, was more consistent for younger adults in both fMRI and TMS. A positive correlation was evidenced between fMRI and TMS map volumes and Jaccard Coefficients indicating spatial consistency across sessions between the two measures. Comparisons of map reliability between age groups showed that younger adults have more stable motor maps in both fMRI and TMS. fMRI and TMS maps show consistency across modalities. Future interpretation of motor maps should attempt to account for potential increased variability of such mapping in older age groups. Despite these age group differences in reliability, fMRI and TMS appear to offer consistent and complementary information about cortical representation of the first dorsal interosseous muscle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-106
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Motor maps
  • Reliability
  • TMS
  • fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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