open-source electrophysiology

November 2017 Newsletter

Added on by Josh Siegle.

Open Ephys at SfN

We're not hosting an info session this year, but there are a number of other opportunities to meet with us next week in DC:

On Monday at 9:35 am in room 145B, Jakob Voigts will be giving a presentation on Open Ephys as part of a Minisymposium on Open-Source Hardware for Neuroscience. Other presenters in this session include Josh Sanders of Sanworks and Gonçalo Lopes of UCL, two scientists/engineers that have worked closely with Open Ephys in the past. We highly recommend attending if you can!

In the Tuesday morning session (VV58), Jon Newman will be presenting a poster on a versatile 64- and 256-channel headstage optimized for closed-loop feedback experiments in freely behaving animals. The headstage plugs directly into a PCIe card, meaning no external acquisition system is required. We plan on manufacturing and selling these headstages via our partnership with OEPS, in order to make them more accessible to the community.

On Monday evening from 7-8:30 pm in room 147A, you can find Josh Siegle at the Neuropixels satellite event. Neuropixels probes, which were funded and tested by HHMI Janelia, Allen Institute, Wellcome Trust, the Gatsby Foundation, and imec, make it possible to record spikes from thousands of cells distributed across dozens of brain regions. They are likely to become a new standard for systems neuroscience research. Neuropixels probes can already be used with the Open Ephys GUI, and we're currently building new plugins to efficiently visualize the data they generate.

After the Neuropixels event, Josh will be DJing the Neurolabware party from 9-10 pm. Stop by the Neurolabware booth at the convention center to pick up your wristband and find out directions to the venue!

Cyclops version 3.6 on sale next week

A new and improved Cyclops LED driver will be available for anyone to order through the Open Ephys store beginning on Monday, November 13th. It's been a long time since we've had this in stock, so we're very excited to start selling it again. These units come fully assembled by OEPS—we're no longer selling kits. The base price is 450 euros, with the option to add an M8 connector (required to interface with LEDs from Thorlabs and Doric Lenses) for an additional 50 euros. This is an incredibly low cost, given how the Cyclops' specifications compare to LED drivers from commercial manufacturers.

GUI version 0.4.3 coming soon

A new version of the GUI is currently in the "testing" phase, meaning updated binaries will be available soon.

Some of the most important upgrades include:

  • The ability to record in 4 different data formats. The "binary" format now uses numpy and JSON files for all data except for continuous signals, which are saved as flat arrays of 16-bit integers.
  • A redesigned backend for defining and accessing information about particular channels. This provides greater transparency and flexibility for developers building new plugins.
  • An overhauled LFP Viewer, which includes a built-in spike raster display and new color schemes.
  • An Event Triggered Averaging module, which can display spike histograms time-locked to digital inputs for both multi-unit activity and single units.

Because this version includes so many new features, it would be extremely helpful if users could proivde some feedback prior to the official release. We'd like people to download the code from the testing branch on GitHub and make sure it works with their preferred experimental signal chain. If you're having trouble getting the code to compile, don't hesitate to email for guidance!

Until next time,

The Open Ephys Team