Corticospinal potentials after electrical and magnetic stimulation in man.

A. Berardelli, M. Inghilleri, G. Cruccu, M. Manfredi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present report deals with our study of the descending volley evoked by both electrical and magnetic transcranial stimulation in man. We discuss the differences of these two techniques specifically as regards the latency and amplitude of evoked potentials. In both cases, electrodes were placed either in the epidural space or directly on the spinal cord. Following electrical stimulation, the descending volley consisted of an early wave which appeared at low stimulation intensity and increased in amplitude and decreased in latency when the strength of the stimulus was increased. At high stimulation intensities the early wave was followed by later waves which travel at the same speed as the initial wave. By delivering paired cortical stimuli, the early wave evoked by the test stimuli is present at 1-msec interval and progressively recovered with longer intervals. The recovery cycle of the later waves is also extremely short. Following magnetic stimulation, the descending volley also consisted of an initial wave followed by later waves. The initial wave has a slightly longer latency, a higher threshold and a smaller amplitude than the early wave evoked by electrical stimulation. The results are discussed with reference to the D and I waves recorded from the pyramidal tract in animals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-154
Number of pages8
JournalElectroencephalography and clinical neurophysiology. Supplement
Publication statusPublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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