Consensus: Motor cortex plasticity protocols

Ulf Ziemann, Walter Paulus, Michael A. Nitsche, Alvaro Pascual-Leone, Winston D. Byblow, Alfredo Berardelli, Hartwig R. Siebner, Joseph Classen, Leonardo G. Cohen, John C. Rothwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Summary: Noninvasive transcranial stimulation is being increasingly used by clinicians and neuroscientists to alter deliberately the status of the human brain. Important applications are the induction of virtual lesions (for example, transient dysfunction) to identify the importance of the stimulated brain network for a certain sensorimotor or cognitive task, and the induction of changes in neuronal excitability, synaptic plasticity or behavioral function outlasting the stimulation, for example, for therapeutic purposes. The aim of this article is to review critically the properties of the different currently used stimulation protocols, including a focus on their particular strengths and weaknesses, to facilitate their appropriate and conscientious application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-182
Number of pages19
JournalBrain Stimulation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • human motor cortex
  • paired associative stimulation
  • theta burst stimulation
  • transcranial direct current stimulation
  • transcranial magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biophysics
  • Medicine(all)


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