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Computational models have been be used to estimate the electric and magnetic fields induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and can provide valuable insights into the location and spatial distribution of TMS stimulation. However, there has been little translation of these findings into practical TMS research. This study uses the International 10-20 EEG electrode placement system to position a standard figure-of-eight TMS coil over 13 commonly adopted targets. Using a finite element method and an anatomically detailed and realistic head model, this study provides the first pictorial and numerical atlas of TMS-induced electric fields for a range of coil positions. The results highlight the importance of subject-specific gyral folding patterns and of local thickness of subarachnoid cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Our modelling shows that high electric fields occur primarily on the peaks of those gyri which have only a thin layer of CSF above them. These findings have important implications for inter-individual generalizability of the TMS-induced electric field. We propose that, in order to determine with accuracy the site of stimulation for an individual subject, it is necessary to solve the electric field distribution using subject-specific anatomy obtained from a high-resolution imaging modality such as MRI.

Original publication




Journal article


Med Biol Eng Comput

Publication Date





671 - 681


Adult, Brain Mapping, Cerebellum, Cerebral Cortex, Electric Conductivity, Electroencephalography, Humans, Male, Models, Neurological, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation