Paper in PLoS ONE
  • Abrahamyan, A., Clifford, C.W.G., Ruzzoli, M., Phillips, D., Arabzadeh, E., Harris, J.A. (2011). Accurate and rapid estimation of phosphene thresholds (REPT). PLoS ONE, 6(7), e22342.

    To calibrate the intensity of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) at the occipital pole, the phosphene threshold is used as a measure of cortical excitability. The phosphene threshold (PT) refers to the intensity of magnetic stimulation that induces illusory flashes of light (phosphenes) on a proportion of trials. The existing PT estimation procedures lack the accuracy and mathematical rigour of modern threshold estimation methods. We present an improved and automatic procedure for estimating the PT which is based on the well-established Bayesian adaptive staircase approach. To validate the new procedure, we compared it with another commonly used procedure for estimating the PT. We found that our procedure is more accurate, reliable, and rapid when compared with an existing PT measurement procedure. The new procedure is implemented in Matlab and works automatically with the Magstim Rapid 2 stimulator using a convenient graphical user interface. The Matlab program is freely available for download.