Demonstration of short-term plasticity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex with theta burst stimulation: A TMS-EEG study

Sung Wook Chung, Benjamin P. Lewis, Nigel C. Rogasch, Takashi Saeki, Richard H. Thomson, Kate E. Hoy, Neil W. Bailey, Paul B. Fitzgerald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives To examine the effects of intermittent TBS (iTBS) and continuous TBS (cTBS) on cortical reactivity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Methods 10 healthy participants were stimulated with either iTBS, cTBS or sham at F3 electrode. Single- and paired-pulse TMS and concurrent electroencephalography (EEG) were used to assess change in cortical reactivity and long-interval intracortical inhibition (LICI) via TMS-evoked potentials (TEPs) and TMS-evoked oscillations. Results Significant increases in N120 amplitudes (p < 0.01) were observed following iTBS over prefrontal cortex. Changes in TMS-evoked theta oscillations and LICI of theta oscillations were also observed following iTBS (increase) and cTBS (decrease). Change in LICI of theta oscillations correlated with change in N120 amplitude following TBS (r = −0.670, p = 0.001). Conclusions This study provides preliminary evidence that TBS produces direct changes in cortical reactivity in the prefrontal cortex. Combining TBS with TMS-EEG may be a useful approach to optimise stimulation paradigms prior to the conduct of clinical trials. Significance TBS is able to modulate cortical reactivity and cortical inhibition in the prefrontal cortex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1117-1126
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • Cortical inhibition
  • Cortical reactivity
  • Theta burst stimulation (TBS)
  • TMS-evoked oscillations
  • TMS-evoked potential (TEP)

Cite this