The few electrophysiologic studies of the cremasteric muscle (CM) have mainly been restricted to the cremaster reflex with no reference to central and peripheral nerve conduction to the muscle, probably for technical reasons. Twenty-six normal adult male volunteers were studied by transcranial magnetic cortical stimulation (TMS) and stimulation of thoracolumbar roots. The genitofemoral nerve (GFN) was stimulated electrically at the anterior superior iliac spine and a needle electrode was inserted into the CM for conduction studies. The motor latency to the CM from the cortical TMS ranged from 20 to 33 ms among the subjects (25.8 +/- 2.9 ms, mean +/- SD). Magnetic stimulation of the lumbar roots produced a motor response of the CM within 9.6 +/- 1.9 ms (range, 6-15). The central motor conduction time to the CM was 16.5 +/- 2.8 ms (range, 10-21). Stimulation of the GFN produced a compound muscle action potential with a mean value of 6.4 +/- 1.8 (range, 4-10) ms in 23 of the 26 cases. Thus, central motor nerve fibers to the CM motor neurons exist, and there may be a representation area for the CM in the cerebral cortex. The GFN motor conduction time to the CM may have clinical utility, such as in the evaluation of the groin pain due to surgical procedures in the lower abdomen.