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Exciting the brain

Brain cells communicate with each other and the body using electrical signals. Scientists can investigate what some areas of the brain do by stimulating them with electricity. Until a few years ago, this could be done only during brain surgery, as applying electricity directly to the scalp is very painful. A new technique, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), uses magnetism to stimulate areas of brain without causing pain and while the patient is conscious.

Until a few years ago, electrically stimulating the brain was only possible during brain surgery.
Until a few years ago, electrically stimulating the brain was only possible during brain surgery.
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