Assessing cerebellar-cortical connectivity using concurrent TMS-EEG: A Feasibility Study

Lara Fernandez, Mana Biabani, George M Opie, Aron T Hill, Michael P Barham, Wei-Peng Teo, Linda K Byrne, Nigel C Rogasch, Peter G Enticott

Research output: Other contributionResearch


Background Combined single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and electroencephalography (EEG) has been used to probe the features of local networks in the cerebral cortex. Here we investigate whether we can use this approach to explore long-range connections between the cerebellum and cerebral cortex.
Objective To assess the feasibility of using cerebellar TMS-EEG for the exploration of cerebellar-cerebral network dynamics.
Methods Ten healthy adults received single-pulse suprathreshold TMS to the cerebellum and an occipital/parietal control site with double-cone and figure-of-eight coils while cerebral activity was recorded. A multisensory electrical control condition was used to simulate the sensation of the double-cone coil at the cerebellar site. Two cleaning pipelines were compared, and the spatiotemporal relationships of the EEG output between conditions were examined at sensor and source levels.
Results Cerebellar stimulation with the double-cone coil resulted in large artefacts in the EEG trace. The addition of SOUND filtering to the cleaning pipeline improved the signal such that further analyses could be undertaken. The cortical potentials evoked by the active TMS conditions showed strong relationships with the responses to the multisensory control condition after ~50 ms. A distinct parietal component at ~42 ms was found following cerebellar double-cone stimulation.
Conclusions Cerebellar double-cone stimulation produces large artefacts in the EEG. Cerebellar-specific responses could not be reliably differentiated from sensory evoked potentials after ~50 ms. While evoked potentials differed across conditions at early latencies, it is unclear as to whether these represented TMS-related network activation of the cerebellarthalamocortical tract, or whether components were dominated by sensory contamination and/or coil-driven artefacts. Further work will be required to clarify the specific contribution of cerebellar-cortical connectivity to the observed early latency signals.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputonline
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2020

Cite this