The corticomotor silent period (CSP), as assessed noninvasively by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in the primary motor cortex, has been found to reflect intracortical inhibitory mechanisms. Analysis of CSP is mostly conducted manually. However, this approach is time-consuming, and comparison of results from different laboratories may be compromised by inter-rater variability in analysis. No open source program for automated analysis is currently available.
Here, we describe cross-validation with the manual analysis of an in-house written automated tool to assess CSP (cSPider). Results from automated routine were compared with results of the manual evaluation. We found high inter-method reliability between automated and manual analysis (p<0.001), and significantly reduced time for CSP analysis (median = 10.3 sec for automated analysis of 10 CSPs vs. median = 270 sec for manual analysis of 10 CSPs). cSPider can be downloaded free of charge.
cSPider allows automated analysis of CSP in a reliable and time-efficient manner. Use of this open-source tool may help to improve comparison of data from different laboratories.