PackIO and EphysViewer: software tools for acquisition and analysis of neuroscience data
Watson B., Yuste R., Packer A.
Abstract We present an open-source synchronization software package, PackIO, that can record and generate voltage signals to enable complex experimental paradigms across multiple devices. This general purpose package is built on National Instruments data acquisition and generation hardware and has temporal precision up to the limit of the hardware. PackIO acts as a flexibly programmable master clock that can record experimental data (e.g. voltage traces), timing data (e.g. event times such as imaging frame times) while generating stimuli (e.g. voltage waveforms, voltage triggers to drive other devices, etc.). PackIO is particularly useful to record from and synchronize multiple devices, for example when simultaneously acquiring electrophysiology while generating and recording imaging timing data. Experimental control is easily enabled by an intuitive graphical user interface. We also release an open-source data visualisation and analysis tool, EphysViewer, written in MATLAB, as well as a module to import data into Python. These flexible and programmable tools allow experimenters to configure and set up customised input and output protocols in a synchronized fashion for controlling, recording, and analysing experiments.