TMS SMART: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Scalp Mapping of Annoyance Ratings and Twitches

TMS-SMART (Meteyard & Holmes, 2018) is a method to select stimulation sites for human TMS studies which allows you to control for the subjective annoyance, pain, and muscle twitches, as well as for visible twitches and reaction time changes associated with single-pulse TMS at 43 different sites on the scalp. This website allows you to browse the data visually, and to retrieve suggested control site locations.Holmes & Meteyard (2018) also made a similar comparison between our annoyance ratings and a small meta-analysis of other studies. And we are also compiling a database of adverse events in TMS studies.

(this website works best in a desktop browser; we will improve it for mobile devices on the next major upgrade...)

Maps - Interactive maps - Background - Methods - Glossary - Data - References


TMS is often described as a non-invasive, painless procedure, but this understates the potentially distracting effect of TMS on behaviour. In our experience, depending on the stimulation site, TMS can be anything between extremely mild and innocuous to extremely distracting and quite painful. This experience is brought out by our choices of stimulation sites: While Meteyard studies the role of the anterior temporal lobe (ATL in the maps) in language processing, Holmes studies the role of superior parietal and motor regions (P3/4, C3/4 on the map). On all of the maps we provide here, these areas are among the most (ATL) and the least (P/C3/4) annoying, painful, and twitchy sites for TMS respectively.

If these site-dependent differences in annoyance, pain, and twitches had no effect on the tasks that the participant were performing, then these side-effects of TMS would remain merely an inconvenience. But our data also show that the annoyance, pain, and twitches induced by TMS are significantly distracting - changing performance on two relatively simple reaction time tasks.

This website, and the accompanying paper (Meteyard & Holmes, 2018), allow you to explore the data interactively, and to retrieve suggested control locations based on the dependent variables (annoyance, pain, twitches, RT differences) that you wish to control for. We welcome all your feedback, and encourage researchers to contribute to the project by submitting data on how well your participants performed in behavioural tasks with TMS at different locations.