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Iseger, Tabitha A.; Padberg, Frank; Kenemans, J. Leon; Dijk, Hanneke van and Arns, Martijn (2021): Neuro-Cardiac-Guided TMS (NCG TMS): A replication and extension study. In: Biological Psychology, Vol. 162, 108097

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Neuro-Cardiac-Guided Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (NCG-TMS) was studied for its potential to specifically target the frontal-vagal network. Previous research demonstrated that prefrontal stimulation led to significant heartrate slowing. We aimed to replicate these results in a larger sample and extend the findings to investigate dose-response relationships, reproducibility and stimulation frequency (10 Hz and intermittent theta burst (iTBS)). Data of forty-five healthy controls were analyzed, of which 28 received 10 Hz TMS (NCG-TMS) and 27 iTBS (NCG-iTBS;10 received both protocols) at different stimulation sites according to the 10 20-EEG system. NCG-TMS yielded a relative heartrate deceleration at the F3/4 coil position replicating earlier studies. Both internal consistency and dose-response relationships were found. For NCG-iTBS adverse events were reported and topography for frontal-vagal activation was more lateralised relative to NCG-TMS. These results indicate that we were able to transsynaptically stimulate the frontal-vagal network and that excitability thresholds for the prefrontal cortex may differ relative to motor cortex.

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