Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Quadri-pulse stimulation (QPS), a type of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), can induce a considerable aftereffect on cortical synapses. Human experiments have shown that the type of effect on synaptic efficiency (in terms of potentiation or depression) depends on the time interval between pulses. The maturation of biophysically-based models, which describe the physiological properties of plasticity mathematically, offers a beneficial framework to explore induced plasticity for new stimulation protocols. To model the QPS paradigm, a phenomenological model based on the knowledge of spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) mechanisms of synaptic plasticity was utilized where the cortex builds upon the platform of neuronal population modeling. Induced cortical plasticity was modeled for both conventional monophasic pulses and unidirectional pulses generated by the cTMS device, in a total of 117 different scenarios. For the conventional monophasic stimuli, the results of the predictive model broadly follow what is typically seen in human experiments. Unidirectional pulses can produce a similar range of plasticity. Additionally, changing the pulse width had a considerable effect on the plasticity (approximately 20% increase). As the width of the positive phase increases, the size of the potentiation will also increase. The proposed model can generate predictions to guide future plasticity experiments. Estimating the plasticity and optimizing the rTMS protocols might effectively improve the safety implications of TMS experiments by reducing the number of delivered pulses to participants. Finding the optimal stimulation protocol with the maximum potentiation/depression can lead to the design of a new TMS pulse generator device with targeted hardware and control algorithms.

Original publication




Journal article


IEEE Access


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Publication Date



1 - 7


Majid Memarian Memarian Sorkhabi, University of Oxford, MRC Brain Network Dynamics Unit, University of Oxford, Mansfield Rd, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 3TH, United Kingdom