Electric Field Modeling in Personalizing Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Interventions

Moritz Dannhauer, Luis J Gomez, Pei L Robins, Dezhi Wang, Nahian I Hasan, Axel Thielscher, Hartwig R Siebner, Yong Fan, Zhi-De Deng

1 Citation (Scopus)


The modeling of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)-induced electric fields (E-fields) is a versatile technique for evaluating and refining brain targeting and dosing strategies, while also providing insights into dose-response relationships in the brain. This review outlines the methodologies employed to derive E-field estimations, covering TMS physics, modeling assumptions, and aspects of subject-specific head tissue and coil modeling. We also summarize various numerical methods for solving the E-field and their suitability for various applications. Modeling methodologies have been optimized to efficiently execute numerous TMS simulations across diverse scalp coil configurations, facilitating the identification of optimal setups or rapid cortical E-field visualization for specific brain targets. These brain targets are extrapolated from neurophysiological measurements and neuroimaging, enabling precise and individualized E-field dosing in experimental and clinical applications. This necessitates the quantification of E-field estimates using metrics that enable the comparison of brain target engagement, functional localization, and TMS intensity adjustments across subjects. The integration of E-field modeling with empirical data has the potential to uncover pivotal insights into the aspects of E-fields responsible for stimulating and modulating brain function and states, enhancing behavioral task performance, and impacting the clinical outcomes of personalized TMS interventions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)494-501
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2024


  • Brain stimulation
  • Electric field
  • Individualization
  • Modeling
  • Optimal placement
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation


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