Dissociating Contributions of the Motor Cortex to Speech Perception and Response Bias by Using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

In the present TMS study, we addressed this question by using signal detection theory to calculate sensitivity (i.e., d′) and response bias (i.e., criterion c). We used repetitive TMS to temporarily disrupt the lip or hand representation in the left motor cortex. Participants discriminated pairs of sounds from a “ba”–“da” continuum before TMS, immediately after TMS (i.e., during the period of motor disruption), and after a 30-min break. We found that the sensitivity for between-category pairs was reduced during the disruption of the lip representation. In contrast, disruption of the hand representation temporarily reduced response bias.

Inter-individual variability in cortical excitability and motor network connectivity following rTMS

We found that non-responders (subjects not showing an MEP increase of ≥ 10% after one iTBS block) featured stronger rsFC between the stimulated primary motor cortex (M1) and premotor areas before stimulation compared to responders. However, only the group of responders showed increases in rsFC and MEPs, while most non-responders remained close to baseline levels after all three blocks of iTBS. Importantly, there was still a large amount of variability in both groups.