Transcranial magnetic stimulation over the cerebellum and eye movements: State of the art

Silvia Colnaghi, Stefano Ramat, Egidio D'Angelo, Maurizio Versino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) transiently induces an electrical field in the tissues beneath the area of application, thereby perturbing local cortical activity if applied over the scalp. It can therefore be used to modulate cerebellar function in healthy humans. Even though the role of the cerebellum in eye movement control and adaptation is well known, few experiments have used eye movements to evaluate the effect of TMS over the cerebellum. Single-pulse TMS over the posterior vermis resulted in impaired accuracy of reflexive saccades, acceleration of smooth pursuit, and coordination of saccades and head movements. TMS over the cerebellar hemisphere decreased pursuit gain. Repetitive TMS (rTMS) over the posterior vermis impaired saccade adaptation in a double-step paradigm. Comparing the effects of TMS on different behavioural paradigms could be useful to test cerebellar control of reflexive and voluntary eye movements, and as a probe of cerebellar plasticity. rTMS appears to be especially interesting since its effects outlast the stimulation period and its behavioural consequences can therefore be measured without interfering with the execution of eye movements or with the experimental procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-171
Number of pages7
JournalFunctional Neurology
Volume25
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010

Keywords

  • Cerebellum
  • Eye movements
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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