Introduction to BEST Toolbox

To facilitate objectivity, reliability, and reproducibility of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) studies and to empower students, researchers, and clinicians alike to conduct state-of-the-art multimodal NIBS studies, an automated but yet flexible tool for data collection and analysis is needed.

Brain Electrophysiological recording and STimulation (BEST) Toolbox is an easy-to-use MATLAB-based open-source software with a powerful graphical user interface (GUI), which allows the user to flexibly design, run, analyze, and share multi-protocol/multi-session NIBS studies, involving transcranial magnetic, electric, and ultrasound stimulation (TMS, tES, TUS) in combination with EMG, EEG, and fMRI.

The BEST toolbox interfaces with a large variety of recording and stimulation devices to analyze data and set stimulation parameters on-the-fly, thereby enabling closed-loop protocols and real-time applications. Its growing functionality includes e.g., TMS motor hotspot search, automated motor threshold estimation, measurement of motor evoked potentials (MEP) and TMS-evoked EEG potentials (TEP), dose-response curves, paired-pulse and dual-coil TMS, rTMS interventions, real-time EEG-triggered stimulation, concurrent TMS-fMRI, etc.

Hardware Interfaces

BEST Toolbox is currently optimized for bossdevice firmware relase 2017b sync2brain. , a data processing and control system implemented as Simulink© Real-Time model on a high performance computer system receiving a digital real-time data stream from an EEG system such such as:

  • NeurOne TESLA (Bittium, FL)

  • actiCHamp Plus (BrainProducts, DE)

  • CED 1400 (Power and Micro, currently only for EMG modality)

Additionaly a native implementation of following buffers is also part of the toolbox.

  • FieldTrip Real-Time Buffer

You may consult developers of BEST Toolbox at github discussions forum for questions specific hardware interfaces.

Input Devices

The bossdevice firmware release 2017b and FieldTrip real-time buffer in turn allows the BEST Toolbox to interface with a wide variety of hardware and streaming platforms. Including but not limited to followings:

  • Java

  • Python

  • Arduino

  • BCI2000 includes the FieldTripBuffer and the FieldTripBufferSource modules

  • BrainVision

  • NeurOne TESLA

  • BrainStream

  • ANT NeuroSDK

  • Artinis Medical Systems (NIRS)

  • BrainVision Recorder

  • Biosemi

  • CTF (MEG)

  • Emotiv

  • Neuromag/Elekta (MEG)

  • Jinga-Hi (LFP/EEG)

  • Micromed (ECoG)

  • ModularEEG/OpenEEG

  • Neuralynx (LFP)

  • Neurosky ThinkCap

  • OpenBCI

  • TMSI

  • TOBI

The details about implementation of FieldTrip real-time buffer can be found here.

Output Devices

BEST Toolbox is integrated with MAGIC toolbox and neuroFUS open source APIs in order to control and interact directly with the TMS devices that accepts TTL input for triggering and features API to set the device parameters:

  • MagVenture (TMS)

  • MagStim (TMS)

  • BiStim (TMS)

  • Rapid (TMS)

  • DuoMag (TMS)

  • neuroFUS (TUS)

In addition, it can also trigger any stimulation devices that can receive a TTL input trigger.