C3 in the 10-20 system may not be the best target for the motor hand area Institutional Repository Document uri icon


  • ABSTRACTThe C3 region in the international 10-20 system for electroencephalography (EEG) recording is assumed to represent the right motor hand area. Therefore, in the absence of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) or a neuronavigational system, neuromodulation methods, such as transcranial direct current stimulation, target C3 or C4, based on the international 10-20 system, to influence the cortical excitability of the right and left hand, respectively. The purpose of this study is to compare the peak-to-peak motor evoked potential (MEP) amplitudes of the right first dorsal interosseus (FDI) muscle after single-pulse TMS at C3, C3h, and C1. Using an intensity of 110% of the resting motor threshold, 15 individual MEPs from each of C3, C3h, C1, and hotspots were randomly recorded from FDI for sixteen right-handed undergraduate students. Average MEPs were greatest at C3h and C1, with both being larger than those recorded at C3. These data are congruent with recent findings using topographic analysis of individual MRIs that revealed poor correspondence between C3/C4 and the respective hand knob. Implications for the use of scalp locations determined using the 10-20 system for localizing the hand area are highlighted.HighlightsMEPs recorded at C3h and C1 were larger than those recorded at C3.Scalp locations other than C3 offer a more accurate estimation of human hand area.

author list (cited authors)

  • Kim, H., Wright, D. L., Rhee, J., & Kim, T.

complete list of authors

  • Kim, Hakjoo||Wright, David L||Rhee, Joohyun||Kim, Taewon

Book Title

  • Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

publication date

  • February 2023