open-source electrophysiology

April 2016 Newsletter

Added on by Josh Siegle.

Acquisition board pre-orders

CircuitHub is currently manufacturing 20 Open Ephys acquisition boards, which will be ready to ship in mid-May. We will start taking pre-orders through the Open Ephys web store at 12 pm Eastern time on Thursday, April 28th. We expect there to be high demand, so please place your order as soon as possible and limit your order to 2 boards per lab.

The new acquisition boards will come with USB 3.0 connectivity, which allows up to 512 channels of neural data to be acquired simultaneously. They will also ship with two assembled I/O boards, so you won't need to order those separately. The price will be $2500 per package. Headstages and cables can be purchased from Intan Technologies.

For this round, we can only accept payment via credit card. If you need to pay via purchase order, or you don't place your order in time, the Champalimaud Institute will be manufacturing more acquisition boards later this year. We'll send out an update via our newsletter once we know more about when those will be available.

GUI upgrades

We recently migrated our data acquisition software over to a true plugin architecture, which will make it much simpler to add and share new processing modules. Since that update, we've seen a flurry of changes that will considerably improve performance and enhance the user experience: Click-and-drag channel selection (added by Kirill Abramov, @sept-en) String-based channel selection via Matlab-like array syntax, e.g. "1:2:10" (added by Priyanjit Dey, @priyanjitdey94) Disk writing in a separate thread, to reduce CPU usage when recording many channels simultaneously (added by Aarón Cuevas López, @aacuevas) Faster LFP display (added by Jakob Voigts, @jvoigts) Streamlined build process on OS X (added by Christopher Stawartz, @cstawarz) Software icon (added by Josh Siegle, @jsiegle) All of these upgrades are now available in the "testing" branch of the plugin-GUI repository. If you have experience building the GUI from source, we would love help looking for bugs. After at least 2 weeks of testing, we'll move the changes to the "master" branch and make the upgrades available in the pre-compiled binaries.

If you haven't done so already, you should begin merging any changes you've made to the GUI into the plugin-based version. We will no longer be supporting the non-plugin GUI, although we'll leave the repository up if you need to refer to it. If you have any questions about migrating, don't hesitate to email or send a message to our mailing list (

Google Summer of Code 2016

We'd like to welcome three new members to the Open Ephys team: Kirill Abramov, Jonathan Sieber, and Ananya Bahadur. We selected these three students out of an outstanding pool of GSoC applicants. Between May and August, they will help us improve the Open Ephys GUI. Kirill will create a graphical interface for generating new plugins, which will lower the barriers to adding new functionality to the software. Jonathan will make it possible to write real-time data processing algorithms in Julia, as well as interface the GUI with EEG hardware from OpenBCI. Ananya will create a module for interfacing the GUI with the Cyclops LED driver, to simplify the process of setting up closed-loop experiments. These are features we've been hoping to add for a long time, so we're excited to see what Kirill, Jonathan, and Ananya come up with.

Until next time,

The Open Ephys Team