Assessing cerebellar-cortical connectivity using concurrent TMS-EEG: a feasibility study

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

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23 Citations (Scopus)


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 investigated whether we can use this approach to explore long-range connections between the cerebellum and cerebral cortex. 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. Cerebellar stimulation with the double-cone coil resulted in large artifact 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. Although evoked potentials differed across all 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 artifact. This study highlights the need for caution when interpreting outcomes from cerebellar TMS-EEG studies.NEW & NOTEWORTHY This is the first study to systematically assess the feasibility of obtaining TMS-evoked potentials from cerebellar stimulation with concurrent EEG. An innovative control condition using electrical stimulation was modified to mimic the sensory aspects of cerebellar stimulation with a double-cone coil, and a state-of-the art cleaning pipeline was trialled. The extent of artifact contamination in signals from stimulation of a cerebellar and an occipital/parietal control site using two TMS coil types was highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1768-1787
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 May 2021


  • cerebellum
  • double-cone coil
  • noninvasive stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology

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