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Noninvasive Stimulation of the Human Brain: Activation of Multiple Cortical Circuits

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  • Vincenzo Di Lazzaro, 2 Fondazione Alberto Sordi-Research Institute for Ageing, Rome, Italy.
  • ,
  • John Rothwell, 3 Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London, UK.
  • ,
  • Marco Capogna

Noninvasive brain stimulation methods, such as transcranial electric stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation are widely used tools for both basic research and clinical applications. However, the cortical circuits underlying their effects are poorly defined. Here we review the current knowledge based on data mostly coming from experiments performed on human subjects, and also to a lesser extent on rodent or primate models. The data suggest that multiple mechanisms are likely to be involved, such as the direct activation of layer V pyramidal neurons, but also of different types of GABAergic interneurons. In this regard, we propose a key role for a specific type of interneuron known as neurogliaform cell.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-260
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article, neurogliaform cell, transcranial electrical stimulation, cortical pyramidal neuron, transcranial magnetic stimulation, cortical interneuron, Neurons/physiology, Humans, Brain/physiology, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation, Animals, Neural Pathways/physiology

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