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date: 04 June 2020

(p. 75) TMS Measures of Motor Cortical and Corticospinal Excitability: Physiology, Function, and Plasticity

The first three chapters in this section describe the TMS measures that are currently available to probe motor cortical and corticospinal excitability. These chapters will provide a detailed account on the techniques, physiology, and basic and clinical applications; and they are fundamentally important because they set the stage for a broad readership to understand what can be measured with TMS and how and why. The next three chapters contain more advanced physiology of the TMS measures by means of electrophysiological and pharmacological profiling. This is an extremely dynamic and exciting field, which leads to a fundamental understanding of what is excited and measured by TMS, even down to the level of particular neuronal cortical circuits. This opens up fascinating avenues to use TMS measures for studying, beyond motor cortical excitability, motor function and mechanisms of plasticity. Chapter 15 is directly at this intersection. This chapter will focus on explaining the link between TMS measures and voluntary motor function. Finally, the last three chapters show how TMS measures can be used to study plasticity of human cortex. This is of utmost interest for all of those who want to understand how the brain changes in response to experimental manipulation, and how this may be modulated, for instance to purposefully enhance plasticity in the setting of rehabilitation. (p. 76)