Spike2 is the data acquisition system of choice for thousands of researchers worldwide. Whether you require simple data capture or a complete package for experiment control, recording and analysis, Spike2 has many advantages over other data acquisition systems.
Spike2 is easy to use as a general purpose capture and analysis package. You do not need to export data to another program for detailed analysis or to purchase add-on modules for specific tasks.
Spike2 has the power and flexibility for demanding applications for which you would expect to require more specialised equipment, for example extracellular multi-electrode recording and complex stimulus timing and delivery.
Spike2 has the sampling and analysis features most researchers need. There is also a built-in script language which allows automation of repetitive tasks and provides many additional tools for researchers who prefer to write their own applications.
Spike2 can import data recorded by many other systems, so that you can take advantage of this extremely versatile software to analyse existing data.
Spike2 can export data in spreadsheet format and as text or binary files. Additional export formats are planned.
Navigate through your data quickly and simply using the intuitive user interface; zoom and scroll with the mouse or keyboard
Record multiple data types, including waveforms, event times, coded markers, and discriminated single or multi-unit spike data in real-time
Generate simple and complex protocols of waveform and TTL outputs
Detect features manually or automatically and take measurements based on triggered and cyclical data such as cardiovascular signals
Analyse multiple channels of waveform and event data on-line and off-line
Process data with functions including: filtering, rectification, interpolation and inter-channel arithmetic
Display and export images as you want them, with versatile display options including: triggered update and duplicated windows with independent time axes
Record very large numbers of channels by synchronising multiple CED 1401s with no timing drift between them
Customise the program with the built-in script language that provides control from simple automation to addition of complex analysis functions
Multi-channel recording with automated feature detection using active cursors
Simple chart recorder type application with duplicated display showing zoomed screen
BP, CO2 and phrenic nerve activity during 3 periods of hypoxia and hyperoxia with Poincaré plot
Acquisition using a CED1401
Independent sample rates per channel
Capture and classify single and multi-unit spike activity in real-time
Continuous, internally timed and triggered recording modes
Record multimedia video and sound, time-locked to Spike2 data
Store up to 8 channels of event data with microsecond timing resolution
Log accurately timed coded 8-bit digital inputs
Annotate data records with text notes and keyboard markers
Swap between experiment setups quickly with a single mouse click
Calibrate waveforms with multiple methods including values, areas, slopes
Automatically save and sequence multiple files with optional trigger start
Recover data files in the event of an un-commanded system shutdown
Review multiple files simultaneously, even when sampling
Navigate through data files with simple mouse pan and zoom, axis dragging, scroll bar and keyboard control
Display events, spikes and markers as times, rates, mean and instantaneous frequencies; discriminated spikes can be overdrawn
Use duplicated channels to display data in different ways and show selected markers and discriminated spikes separately
Draw waveforms with optional linear and cubic spline interpolation or as sonograms with preset and user-defined colour scales
Draw marker type data in State mode for condition marking. Textmark (text note) channels can also display stored text in the channel area
Set independent colours for each channel's data and background
Arrange vertical space and order of channels displayed, including option to overlay multiple channels
Expand your display area with built-in multiple monitor support
The Micro1401 mk II and Power1401
Duplicate windows showing rate display of single units from a spike data channel
Blood flow velocity derived from spectral analysis of output from a Doppler ultrasound machine
Processing and analysis
Waveform analyses including averaging, power spectra and waveform correlations
Event analyses including INTH, PSTH, auto and cross correlations and phase histograms
Automatically find data features including triggers and features in evoked, spontaneous activity and cyclical data with 'active' cursors
Generate XY plots and measurement channels in data files and output tables of values based on cursor feature detection
Take absolute and relative measurements of positions, data values and inter-cursor statistical measurements with up to 10 active cursors per view
Derive 'virtual channels' from existing waveform and event channels defined by user-supplied expressions (channel arithmetic)
Process waveforms dynamically on- and off-line. Processes include rectify, smooth, DC remove, downsample, median filter and RMS amplitude
Create temporary channels containing copied or derived data
Digitally filter waveforms (FIR and IIR) with interactive filter design
Interactively fit data with functions including exponential, Gaussian, polynomial, sinusoid and sigmoid
Experiment control and stimulus sequencing
The Spike2 output sequencer can run complex experiment control and stimulus sequencing protocols during data capture using up to 16 TTL and 8 waveform outputs. Timing is precise as it is controlled at the CED 1401 interface, not the host computer.
Output protocols can be set up in two ways. A graphical editor provides all the functionality most users require, allowing creation of multiple sets of pulse outputs including square pulses, sine waves, ramps, pre-recorded and user-defined waveforms. For more demanding applications, a text editor is available in which you can edit the sequencer steps directly. This makes it possible to control the sequence interactively through the script language by use of variables and tables.
The sequencer also has access to the incoming waveform and event data in real-time, enabling very fast response to changes in waveform levels and detection of events.
Setup of waveform and digital outputs using the graphical sequence editor
Spike detection and sorting
Spike2 identifies and sorts single and multi-unit activity both on-line and off-line. It can mark events using simple threshold crossings or sort up to 32 channels on-line with whole wave spike shape template matching.
For multi-unit recordings, Spike2 contains tools for sorting spikes based on the spike waveform shape. All events crossing a threshold are captured. A combination of template matching and cluster cutting based on Principal Component Analysis (PCA) or user-defined measurements is then used to sort spikes into different units
The template matching system allows templates to be fixed or to track changing spike shapes. Templates can be created automatically or by manual selection of individual spikes.
Cluster cutting methods plot measured values into a 3D view that can be rotated and replayed to show the occurrence of the spikes through time. Clusters are formed by automatic algorithms or manually by placing ellipses. Interactive features include INTHs for current cluster classes, tracking over time, and selection of an individual spike by clicking on its dot in the cluster.
Multi-unit spike discrimination using PCA clustering and template matching
From complete beginners to experienced programmers, anybody can benefit from the built-in Spike2 script language. Even simple automation of repetitive tasks with known parameters can save hours or even days of tedious analysis. Advanced applications include complete experiment control with on-line application of original algorithms to sampled data in real-time.
The script language not only links Spike2's features but also allows you to generate your own interface and design algorithms. There is a simple macro recording facility to provide a starting point for new scripts. The script language also includes data manipulation tools such as multi-dimensional arrays and matrix functions.
CED maintains a collection of scripts for a wide range of common and specialised applications. If these and the scripts included with the Spike2 software do not meet your needs, contact us to discuss your requirements.
Script driven burst analysis; Poisson surprise burst detection is also available
Spike2 version 6
Spike2 has evolved over many years, staying at the forefront of researchers' needs and constantly adapting in response to user requirements. Many new and improved features are included in version 6, with continual development planned through the course of this version. These upgrades will be freely available to registered version 6 users. Files created by earlier versions are fully compatible. See the latest, version 7.
New version 6 features include:
New script editor with options including code folding, auto formatting, auto complete and call tips
Coloured sonograms using preset and user-defined colour scales
Interactive IIR filtering and improvements to the FIR filtering dialog
Script language now supports arrays with up to 5 dimensions
Additional virtual channel functions including:
Interpolation of unevenly sampled data to waveform format
Interactive expression creation from drop-down menus
Density plot option in cluster views
Visual identification of clustered spikes occurring within a specified refractory period
Unified page printing with user-defined header, footer and fonts
Virtual channels used in respiratory flow analysis and generation of tone pips for auditory stimulation
Spike2 user training days
Spike2 for Windows version 6 requires a CED Power1401, a Micro1401 or a 1401plus intelligent laboratory interface, and a PC with Windows 98SE, Me, Windows 2000, XP or Vista™. We recommend that the PC has a minimum of 512MB of RAM.