Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: Introduction and Technical Aspects

Yiftach Roth, Gaby S. Pell, Abraham Zangen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


When the transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) emerged in 1985, it represented a novel research tool for studying the functionality, morphology and connectivity of various cortical regions, especially the motor cortex. TMS is a technique for non-invasive stimulation of neuronal structures. Magnetic pulses are administered by passing a strong current through an electromagnetic coil placed upon the scalp that induces an electric field and, therefore, current in the underlying cortical tissue. The TMS stimulation circuit consists of a high-voltage power supply that charges a capacitor or a bank of capacitors, which are then rapidly discharged via a fast electronic switch into the TMS coil, to create the briefly changing magnetic field pulse. The TMS coil controls the distribution and strength of the stimulation field and therefore plays a crucial role in the characteristics of TMS. The most important trade-off in their design is the interplay between depth and focality.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeuromodulation in Psychiatry
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9781118801086
ISBN (Print)9781118801048
StatePublished - 5 Mar 2016


  • Coil design
  • Motor cortex
  • Neuronal activation
  • TMS circuit
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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