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Probing Corticospinal Recruitment Patterns and Functional Synergies with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation


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Objective: The aim of this study was to probe functional synergies of forearm muscles with transcranial magnetic stimulation by harnessing the convergence and divergence of the corticospinal output.

Methods: We acquired bihemispheric cortical maps and IO curves of the extensor carpi ulnaris, extensor carpi radialis, and extensor digitorum communis muscles by subjecting 11 healthy subjects to both monophasic and biphasic pulse waveforms.

Results: The degree of synergy between pairs of forearm muscles was captured by the overlap of the cortical motor maps and the respective IO curves which were influenced by the pulse waveform. Monophasic and biphasic stimulation were particularly suitable for disentangling synergistic muscles in the right and left hemisphere, respectively.

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