Background: The human motor system consists of several divisions in the frontal lobes. The physiological function of projections from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) to the primary motor cortex (M1) remains elusive. Here, we introduce theta burst stimulation (TBS)-based protocols to target inhibitory and facilitatory connections in the DLPFC-M1 network. Methods: Intermittent and continuous TBS with 600 pulses (iTBS600/cTBS600) were applied to the left DLPFC. Resting motor threshold (RMT), motor-evoked potential (MEP), and short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) were measured with transcranial magnetic stimulation to the ipsilateral M1. Results: iTBS600 to the DLPFC decreased MEP amplitude in M1. Conversely, cTBS600 to the DLPFC increased MEP amplitude in M1. The peak decrease in MEP amplitude after iTBS600 was negatively correlated with the peak increase in MEP amplitude after cTBS600. There were no significant effects in the control group with the sham stimulation. Discussion: These results provide insight into the regulation of inhibitory and facilitatory balance from the local DLPFC to M1. TBS modulation in one brain region will induce interactions within other remote cortical areas. Our results enable better understanding of how cognitive resources are allocated to achieve optimal control of motor output.
- Cortical connectivity
- Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
- Motor system
- Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation
- TBS after-effects