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Effect of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Free Will

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) Identifier:
First received: January 16, 2002
Last updated: March 3, 2008
Last verified: June 2002

This study will use transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to investigate how the brain controls movement by sending messages to the spinal cord and muscles.

Healthy normal volunteers 21 years of age or older may participate in this study.

They must have no medical, neurological or psychiatric illnesses nor have been taking medications that affect nervous system function.

Participants will undergo transcranial magnetic stimulation. For this procedure, an insulated wire coil is placed on the scalp or skin. A brief electrical current is passed through the coil, creating a magnetic pulse that stimulates the brain. If the coil is placed over a nerve or area of the brain that controls muscles, it may cause a muscle twitch, possibly strong enough to move the limb. In other cases, the subject may have a feeling of movement or feel a tingling sensation in a limb. Stimulation over the muscles on the side of the head may cause some discomfort in that area or twitching of the jaw.

During the stimulation, the subject may be asked to tense certain muscles slightly or perform other simple actions. The electrical activity of the muscles activated by the stimulation will be recorded using metal electrodes taped to the skin over the muscle. In most cases, the study takes less than 3 hours.


Study Type: Observational
Official Title: The Effect of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Free Will

Further study details as provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):

Estimated Enrollment: 10
Study Start Date: January 2002
Estimated Study Completion Date: June 2002
Detailed Description:
The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) on free will to select movement. There have been debates that most of human voluntary movements are reflexive rather than volitional in nature, although most people feel that their movements are freely chosen. This issue is illuminated by previous TMS studies showing external bias of freely chosen movements by TMS. Recently, we tried to confirm these observations using a more reliable method with subthreshold TMS, but failed. Thus, in this study, we are planning to use suprathreshold TMS to test whether this type of stimulation on different motor areas influences free selection of movements or not.

Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Senior
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Normal adult volunteers who are 21 years or older will be eligible.

Volunteers who have either any medico-surgical, neurological and psychiatric illnesses, who have been taking any medication with potential influence on nervous system function, who have a pacemaker, an implanted medical pump, a metal plate or a metal object in the skull or eye (for example, after brain surgery), or who have a history of seizure disorder, will be excluded.

  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00029653

United States, Maryland
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
  More Information

Publications: Identifier: NCT00029653     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 020101
Study First Received: January 16, 2002
Last Updated: March 3, 2008

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Frontal Lobe
Reaction Time
Movement Preparation
Motor Threshold
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Motor Cortex
Healthy Volunteer
Normal Control
HV processed this record on September 25, 2017