Paired associative stimulation enforces the communication between interconnected areas

Domenica Veniero, Viviana Ponzo, Giacomo Koch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Paired associative stimulation (PAS) protocols induce forms of spike-timing-dependent-plasticity (STDP) when paired pulses are repeatedly applied with different timing over interconnected cortical areas such as the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and the primary motor cortex (M1). However, the assessment of PAS effects is usually limited to M1 through recording of motor-evoked potential (MEP) amplitude. Here, by combining transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with EEG we aimed at investigating PAS effects over both areas (PPC, M1) and the modulation induced on their connectivity in humans. In different PAS conditions, PPC preceded or followedM1 TMS by 5 ms. We found that TMS-evoked potentials (TEPs) changed differently according to the long-term depression (LTD) or potentiation (LTP) after-effect assessed by MEPs, but did not vary at PPC level. Moreover, there was no change in local oscillatory power. However, there was a remarkable increase of coherence between the PPC and the M1 areas. When the PAS protocol induced LTD as revealed by MEPs, there was a specific increase of the coherence between PPC and M1 within the beta band. On the contrary, when PAS induced LTP, the coherence crucially increased in the alpha band. The same LTP results were confirmed when rotating the stimulating coil in M1 during the PAS protocol. In conclusion, we report new evidence that opposite STDP-like effects induced by corticocortical PAS are associated with increased communication between involved brain areas and that antithetic forms of STDP-like after-effects result in distinct cortical rhythms connectivity changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13773-13783
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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