Electrophysiology software

dag.stenberg at nospam.helsinki.fi dag.stenberg at nospam.helsinki.fi
Mon Sep 10 02:40:09 EST 2001

bobbi <electrowoman456 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> I have been using Datawave's software, both workbench and discovery,
> for my electrophysiology and despise them both. ...
> So what are other people using and
> what packages have you heard good things about? All of my
> electrophysiology has been extracellular so far, single unit, evoked
> potential, and EEG. Is there a package that does a good job of these?
> What about linux resources?

Since many years, my group uses Spike2 from Cambridge Electrnic Devices:
We use it mostly for long-term (sleep) polygraphy, but it is perfectly
useful also for extracellular electrophysiology, as some of our
colleagues have found. As an interface between preamplifiers and
computer we use the same company's CED1401 plus and Power 1401. One of
our colleagues in another lab uses the Micro1401. It all depends on how
many channels and how much processing speed you want. 
  For evoked potentials, you might want to think about CED's Signal 2
software. I do not know much about that.

I did acquaint myself with DSatawave's software when visiting another
lab some years ago. As you know, it is highly modular, and originally 
DOS-based. It is rather university-like, meaning not particularly
user-friendly, However, it gets the job done, and many people produce
with it. I learned to handle the things I wanted in a few weeks. So if
you have it, why not save the money and just stick with it? 
  (Well, I knew this, and still I got the CED solution with Spike 2....)

If you decide to go for the more user-friendly Spike 2/Signal 2, you
(or somebody) will have to learn to write macros anyway, like in
Datawave you have to put together scripts. 

If you go for Spike 2/Signal 2, I would recommend finding out if there
are any drawbacks with timing if you use Windows 2000 or Windows NT4.
We use Windows 95, which is DOS-based, and some software manufacturers
indicate that sampling timing might be less accurate in a multi-user
environment like Win2000 or NT. Thus before "upgrading" any of my
systems (my group has three) to Win2000 I aim to find out about possible
drawbacks. (And, if you stick to Datawave - does it work at all under

Dag Stenberg

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