March 4, 2021

Large-scale analysis of interindividual variability in single and paired-pulse TMS data: results from the ‘Big TMS Data Collaboration’

Objective: This study brought together over 60 TMS researchers to create the largest known sample of individual participant single and paired-pulse TMS data to date, enabling a more comprehensive evaluation of factors driving response variability. Methods: 118 corresponding authors provided deidentified individual TMS data. Mixed-effects regression investigated a range of individual and study level variables for their contribution to variability in response to single and pp TMS data. Results: 687 healthy participant’s data were pooled across 35 studies. Target muscle, pulse waveform, neuronavigation use, and TMS machine significantly predicted an individual’s single pulse TMS amplitude. Baseline MEP amplitude, M1 hemisphere, and MT significantly predicted SICI response. Baseline MEP amplitude, test stimulus intensity, interstimulus interval, and MT significantly predicted ICF response. Age, M1 hemisphere, and TMS machine significantly predicted MT. Conclusions: This large-scale analysis has identified a number of factors influencing participants’ responses to single and paired pulse TMS. We provide specific recommendations to minimise interindividual variability in single and pp TMS data. Significance: This study has used large-scale analyses to give clarity to factors driving variance in TMS data. We hope that this ongoing collaborative approach will increase standardisation of methods and thus the utility of single and paired-pulse TMS.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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