Measuring changes in the characteristics of corticospinal output has become a critical part of assessing the impact of motor experience on cortical organization in both the intact and injured human brain. In this protocol we describe a method for systematically assessing training-induced changes in corticospinal output that integrates volumetric anatomical MRI with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). A TMS coil is sited to a target grid superimposed onto a 3D MRI of cortex using a stereotaxic neuronavigation system. Subjects are then required to exercise the first dorsal interosseus (FDI) muscle on two different tasks for a total of 30 min. The protocol allows for reliably and repeatedly detecting changes in corticospinal output to FDI muscle in response to brief periods of motor training.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)