The Effects of Priming Intermittent Theta Burst Stimulation on Movement-Related and Mirror Visual Feedback-Induced Sensorimotor Desynchronization

Jack Jiaqi Zhang, Kenneth N.K. Fong (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The potential benefits of priming intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) with continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) have not been examined in regard to sensorimotor oscillatory activities recorded in electroencephalography (EEG). The objective of this study was to investigate the modulatory effect of priming iTBS (cTBS followed by iTBS) delivered to the motor cortex on movement-related and mirror visual feedback (MVF)-induced sensorimotor event-related desynchronization (ERD), compared with iTBS alone, on healthy adults. Twenty participants were randomly allocated into Group 1: priming iTBS—cTBS followed by iTBS, and Group 2: non-priming iTBS—sham cTBS followed by iTBS. The stimulation was delivered to the right primary motor cortex daily for 4 consecutive days. EEG was measured before and after 4 sessions of stimulation. Movement-related ERD was evaluated during left-index finger tapping and MVF-induced sensorimotor ERD was evaluated by comparing the difference between right-index finger tapping with and without MVF. After stimulation, both protocols increased movement-related ERD and MVF-induced sensorimotor ERD in high mu and low beta bands, indicated by significant time effects. A significant interaction effect favoring Group 1 in enhancing movement-related ERD was observed in the high mu band [F(1,18) = 4.47, p = 0.049], compared with Group 2. Our experiment suggests that among healthy adults priming iTBS with cTBS delivered to the motor cortex yields similar effects with iTBS alone on enhancing ERD induced by MVF-based observation, while movement-related ERD was more enhanced in the priming iTBS condition, specifically in the high mu band.

Original languageEnglish
Article number626887
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2021


  • event-related desynchronization
  • Hong Kong
  • mirror visual feedback
  • motor cortex
  • occupational therapy
  • theta burst stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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