Recently, DuoMAG XT-100 rTMS System with Brainsight TMS Neuronavigation system is installed in our TMS Lab, it would be opened to staff and trained students for research use.
The magnetic field generator, or known as the coil, of the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) applies electromagnetic introduction, which creates an electric current through the scalp and skull to the designated region of the brain.
The application of magnetic stimulation produces a “virtual lesion”, which endure the magnetic stimulation itself (Dayan, Censor, Buch, Sandrini, & Cohen, 2013). It simulates the lesion created by the stereotaxic instrument (a device which places electrodes the brain in a precise area) used in the earlier eras, but in a much safer and humanizer way with minimized adverse effects and harm.
In terms of research, the magnetic field generated by the TMS device allows researchers to study the brain with the designated area in the status of being active, inactive, and active again (Kalat, 2013). For instance, when researcher silence some certain brain area of the participant using TMS, after which participant would be invited to complete the certain tasks so that the effect of inactivating the brain area would be seen and studied. In a study done by Ganis, Keenan, Kosslyn, and Pascual-Leone (2000), researchers utilized the TMS device to silence the hand area of the motor cortex, after which the participants found difficulties in the task of mentally rotating their hands to different angle’s view. The study provided the basic framework that the cognitive task of mental rotation is somehow affected by the motor cortex for further study.
Similar studies of above could be conducted using the TMS laboratory of Shue Yan. For instance, researchers could observe participants’ performance in negotiation before and after the TMS, so as to study the neural basis of negotiation. The whole psychological dynamic may not be tested out simply through the TMS device though, it provides new insight, framework, and primary direction for researchers to work onto. Negotiation in neural basis is, after all, a very newly aroused topic and needs primary level of exploration. TMS is exceptionally suitable for studies in such stage. The similar case would also be able to be applied to the topic of decision-making and brain-based teaching and learning.
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