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Review

Anatomo-Functional Origins of the Cortical Silent Period: Spotlight on the Basal Ganglia

Sensory-Motor Laboratory (SeMoLa), Jules-Gonin Eye Hospital/Fondation Asile des Aveugles, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Lausanne, 1002 Lausanne, Switzerland
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Academic Editors: Cosimo Urgesi and Brian A Coffman
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(6), 705; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11060705
Received: 22 April 2021 / Revised: 17 May 2021 / Accepted: 25 May 2021 / Published: 27 May 2021
The so-called cortical silent period (CSP) refers to the temporary interruption of electromyographic signal from a muscle following a motor-evoked potential (MEP) triggered by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the primary motor cortex (M1). The neurophysiological origins of the CSP are debated. Previous evidence suggests that both spinal and cortical mechanisms may account for the duration of the CSP. However, contextual factors such as cortical fatigue, experimental procedures, attentional load, as well as neuropathology can also influence the CSP duration. The present paper summarizes the most relevant evidence on the mechanisms underlying the duration of the CSP, with a particular focus on the central role of the basal ganglia in the “direct” (excitatory), “indirect” (inhibitory), and “hyperdirect” cortico-subcortical pathways to manage cortical motor inhibition. We propose new methods of interpretation of the CSP related, at least partially, to the inhibitory hyperdirect and indirect pathways in the basal ganglia. This view may help to explain the respective shortening and lengthening of the CSP in various neurological disorders. Shedding light on the complexity of the CSP’s origins, the present review aims at constituting a reference for future work in fundamental research, technological development, and clinical settings. View Full-Text
Keywords: review; hyperdirect pathway; neurological disorders; cortical inhibition; basal ganglia review; hyperdirect pathway; neurological disorders; cortical inhibition; basal ganglia
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zeugin, D.; Ionta, S. Anatomo-Functional Origins of the Cortical Silent Period: Spotlight on the Basal Ganglia. Brain Sci. 2021, 11, 705. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11060705

AMA Style

Zeugin D, Ionta S. Anatomo-Functional Origins of the Cortical Silent Period: Spotlight on the Basal Ganglia. Brain Sciences. 2021; 11(6):705. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11060705

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zeugin, David, and Silvio Ionta. 2021. "Anatomo-Functional Origins of the Cortical Silent Period: Spotlight on the Basal Ganglia" Brain Sciences 11, no. 6: 705. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11060705

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