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Zapping the brain

By sending a short, strong magnetic pulse through its coil, this TMS machine affects the electrical activity of the brain. TMS can either activate a part of the brain or knock it out momentarily, depending on the pulse's frequency.

Scientists can use different-shaped coils to produce magnetic fields with different effects. A figure-of-eight shape produces a more concentrated effect to target a specific area, while a saddle shape can reach deeper into the brain.



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These two images show a TMS machine and a range of coils used to stimulate the brain.
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These two images show a TMS machine and a range of coils used to stimulate the brain.
Science Museum/Jennie Hills
    
 

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