An integrated framework for targeting functional networks via transcranial magnetic stimulation

Alexander Opitz, Michael D. Fox, R. Cameron Craddock, Stan Colcombe, Michael P. Milham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a powerful investigational tool for in vivo manipulation of regional or network activity, with a growing number of potential clinical applications. Unfortunately, the vast majority of targeting strategies remain limited by their reliance on non-realistic brain models and assumptions that anatomo-functional relationships are 1:1. Here, we present an integrated framework that combines anatomically realistic finite element models of the human head with resting functional MRI to predict functional networks targeted via TMS at a given coil location and orientation. Using data from the Human Connectome Project, we provide an example implementation focused on dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Three distinct DLPFC stimulation zones were identified, differing with respect to the network to be affected (default, frontoparietal) and sensitivity to coil orientation. Network profiles generated for DLPFC targets previously published for treating depression revealed substantial variability across studies, highlighting a potentially critical technical issue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-96
Number of pages11
StatePublished - Feb 15 2016
Externally publishedYes

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