Effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation on single and sequential arm movements

A. Berardelli, M. Inghilleri, L. Polidori, A. Priori, B. Mercuri, M. Manfredi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We studied in humans the effects of transcranial stimulation of cortical motor areas on the execution of single and sequential rapid arm movements. In a reaction time paradigm with an auditory "go" signal, stimulation given after an auditory tone and before the start of movements delayed the onset but did not affect the subsequent performance of single or sequential movements; high intensities of cortical stimulation determined a long-lasting inhibition of movements. Cortical stimulation given during the execution of a sequential movement temporarily interrupted the movements. Reaction time was not prolonged and movements were not inhibited when cortical stimulation was delivered before the auditory tone and the start of movement. Neither electrical stimulation of the corticospinal tracts at the cervico medullary junction nor magnetic stimulation of the cervical roots delayed the onset or interrupted the execution of movements. Transcranial stimulation affects the performance of both single and sequential movements, through cortical mechanisms that interfere with the transfer of the motor program from other cortical structures to the motor cortex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-506
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1994


  • Human
  • Motor cortex
  • Movement
  • Transcranial stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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