Purpose: To measure motor and auditory cortex blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) response to impulse-like transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) pulses as a function of train length. Materials and Methods: Interleaved with fMRI at 1.5 T, TMS pulses 0.3-msec long were applied at 1 Hz to the motor cortex area for thumb. Six subjects were studied in a TR = 1 second session administering trains of 1, 2, 4, 8, and 16 pulses, and a TR = 3 seconds session administering trains of 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, and 24 pulses. A simple hemodynamic model with finite recovery and saturation was used to quantitatively characterize the BOLD-fMRI response as a function of train length. Results: In both the activations directly induced in motor cortex by TMS and the indirect activations in auditory cortex caused by the sound of the TMS coil firing, the BOLD-fMRI responses to multiple pulses were well described by a summation of single-pulse impulse functions. Conclusion: Up to 24 discrete pulses, BOLD-fMRI response to 1 Hz TMS in both motor cortex and auditory cortex were consistent with a linear increase in amplitude and length with train length, possibly suggesting that stimuli of 1 to 2 seconds may be too long to represent impulses.
- BOLD response linearity
- Motor cortex
- Train length
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)