The physiological mechanisms of corticospinal excitability and factors influencing its measurement with transcranial magnetic stimulation are still poorly understood. A recent study reported an impact of functional connectivity (FC) between the primary motor cortex (M1) and the dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) on the resting motor threshold (RMT) of the dominant hemisphere. We aimed to replicate these findings in a larger sample of 38 healthy right-handed subjects with data from both hemispheres. Resting-state FC was assessed between the M1 and five a priori defined motor-relevant regions on each hemisphere as well as interhemispherically between both primary motor cortices. Following the procedure by the original authors, we included age, cortical gray matter volume, and coil-to-cortex distance (CCD) as further predictors in the analysis. We report replication models for the dominant hemisphere as well as an extension to data from both hemispheres and support the results with Bayes factors. FC between the M1 and the PMd did not explain the variability in the RMT, and we obtained moderate evidence for the absence of this effect. In contrast, CCD could be confirmed as an important predictor with strong evidence. These findings contradict the previously proposed effect, thus questioning the notion of the PMd playing a major role in modifying corticospinal excitability.
resting motor threshold
transcranial magnetic stimulation
600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften::610 Medizin und Gesundheit::610 Medizin und Gesundheit
No Impact of Functional Connectivity of the Motor System on the Resting Motor Threshold: A Replication Study
Frontiers in Neuroscience
Frontiers Media SA
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin