Consolidation of motor sequence learning eliminates susceptibility of SMAproper to TMS: a combined rTMS and cTBS study

Willem B. Verwey*, Benedikt Glinski, Min Fang Kuo, Mohammad Ali Salehinejad, Michael A. Nitsche

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)


Earlier research suggested that after 210 practice trials, the supplementary motor area (SMA) is involved in executing all responses of familiar 6-key sequences in a discrete sequence production (DSP) task (Verwey, Lammens, and van Honk, 2002). This was indicated by slowing of each response 20 and 25 min after the SMA had been stimulated for 20 min using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). The present study used a similar approach to assess the effects of TMS to the more posterior SMAproper at the end of practice and also 24 h later. As expected stimulation of SMAproper with 20 min of 1 Hz rTMS and 40 s of continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) immediately after practice slowed sequence execution relative to a sham TMS condition, but stimulation on the day following practice did not cause slowing. This indicates that offline consolidation makes learning robust against stimulation of SMAproper. Execution of all responses in the sequence was disrupted 0, 20, and 40 min after rTMS, but after cTBS, this occurred only after 40 min. The results suggest that it is implicit sequence knowledge that is processed by the SMAproper and that consolidates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1743-1755
Number of pages13
JournalExperimental brain research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • Consolidation
  • Continuous theta burst stimulation
  • Discrete sequence production task
  • Motor sequences
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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