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Brain Topogr. 2014 Jan;27(1):172-91. doi: 10.1007/s10548-013-0277-y. Epub 2013 Mar 8.

Modulation of EEG functional connectivity networks in subjects undergoing repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation.

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Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation, Division of Cognitive Neurology, Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA, 02215, USA,


Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a noninvasive brain stimulation technique that utilizes magnetic fluxes to alter cortical activity. Continuous theta-burst repetitive TMS (cTBS) results in long-lasting decreases in indices of cortical excitability, and alterations in performance of behavioral tasks. We investigated the effects of cTBS on cortical function via functional connectivity and graph theoretical analysis of EEG data. Thirty-one channel resting-state EEG recordings were obtained before and after 40 s of cTBS stimulation to the left primary motor cortex. Functional connectivity between nodes was assessed in multiple frequency bands using lagged max-covariance, and subsequently thresholded to construct undirected graphs. After cTBS, we find widespread decreases in functional connectivity in the alpha band. There are also simultaneous increases in functional connectivity in the high-beta bands, especially amongst anterior and interhemispheric connections. The analysis of the undirected graphs reveals that interhemispheric and interregional connections are more likely to be modulated after cTBS than local connections. There is also a shift in the topology of network connectivity, with an increase in the clustering coefficient after cTBS in the beta bands, and a decrease in clustering and increase in path length in the alpha band, with the alpha-band connectivity primarily decreased near the site of stimulation. cTBS produces widespread alterations in cortical functional connectivity, with resulting shifts in cortical network topology.

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