Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Differences between Han Chinese and Caucasians in transcranial magnetic stimulation parameters

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Karen Fisher, Dr Ming Lai, Dr Bob Bicker, Professor Stuart BakerORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The study was conducted to investigate the difference between Han Chinese and Caucasians on various parameters measured from responses to transcranial magnetic brain stimulation (TMS). Sixteen subjects were studied in each group. A circular coil at the vertex was used for stimulation, whilst recording surface electromyograms from right first dorsal interosseous. In the passive state, motor-evoked potential (MEP) threshold, MEP recruitment, short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and intracortical facilitation were measured. The MEP threshold, recruitment and silent period were also measured in the active state. Chinese subjects showed significantly higher passive thresholds (P < 0.005), less inhibition of the motor response (SICI, P < 0.0005) and a shorter silent period (P < 0.05). Differences in SICI appeared to be a consequence of the differences in passive threshold and were not seen when active threshold was used to determine the conditioning stimulus intensity. Differences in silent period may also reflect differences in cortical excitability rather than inhibitory processes, as they were not seen when the silent-period duration was expressed as a function of MEP size, rather than TMS intensity. There appears to be a significant difference in some TMS parameters between Han Chinese and Caucasian subjects. This may reflect an underlying difference in cortical excitability.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Yi X, Fisher KM, Lai M, Mansoor K, Bicker R, Baker SN

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Experimental Brain Research

Year: 2014

Volume: 232

Issue: 2

Pages: 545-553

Print publication date: 15/11/2013

Online publication date: 15/11/2013

Acceptance date: 01/11/2013

Date deposited: 17/04/2014

ISSN (print): 0014-4819

ISSN (electronic): 1432-1106

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s00221-013-3763-2


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
Wellcome Trust
101002/Z/13/ZWellcome Trust