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Synapse Suite

Synapse harnesses the power of TDT’s real-time processors for:

  1. Multi-channel signal acquisition and processing
  2. Stimulus presentation
  3. Closed-loop control

This high-level application simplifies basic processing found in any recording system, such as spike sorting and filtering various neural signals, including fiber photometry.

Synapse also includes signal presentation for optogenetics, auditory, and electrical stimulation and has timers and triggers, which can be implemented for real-time closed-loop control.

Research Uses


Signal acquisition and processing


Synapse provides an easy-to-use interface for all signals, including analog and digital inputs, as well as any peripherals, such as preamplifiers, video trackers and data storage devices.

The user has complete control over all aspects of signal acquisition, processing, and visualization.

Fiber Photometry

An all-in-one Gizmo tackles setup of LED drivers and measuring power for fiber photometry, while also calculating ΔF/F and lock-in amplification in real-time.

Digital events, such as behavioral codes from third party devices, are processed alongside the neural signals. The digital signals are saved for offline analysis and can be used online for acquiring evoked responses or for closed-loop control.



Record single units, LFPs, EEGs, and EMGs. Synapse can perform basic functions – such as storing raw or filtered neural signals – or complex functions – such as real-time, multi-channel spike sorting with automated thresholding and PCA-based clustering algorithms.

Synapse elevates real-time processing with built-in algorithms for detection of energy in a power-band for feature detection of neural patterns, such as theta and gamma oscillations, and wave rectification for analysis of muscle contraction.


Synapse - Single Units and LFP ephys

Ephys & fMRI

Large artifacts are recorded in electrophysiology during fMRI imaging, and Synapse can remove the artifact for real-time spike sorting and LFP visualization.


Stimulus presentation


The RZ real-time processor has an integrated tool set for stimulus generation. Individual Gizmos are available for each of these functions and can control parameters such as timing, interval, and shape of the stimulus waveform (these parameters can also be adjusted in real-time).

SynapseAPI can also be used with MATLAB, Python, or other languages to control Synapse and implement various stimulation paradigms remotely.

Closed-loop control


The Synapse software is a seamless tool for acquiring incoming neural signals and event information from video trackers and external behavioral devices. In turn, Synapse can trigger electrical, optical and/or acoustic stimulation with <1 ms precision.

Using digital events from external devices

Synapse elegantly acquires all digital events with <50 us precision.

Incoming events from operant chambers and video trackers are easily binned and processed for controlling TDT’s electrical stimulators and third party optogenetic light sources.

Processing LFP, EEG and EMG signals

Process complex neural signals with Synapse and the RZ Processor. For example, the Unary Processor Gizmo can:

  • Calculate the energy in a fixed bandwidth, such as Theta and Gamma power bands
  • Measure the force of a muscle contraction
  • And more!

These signals can then be thresholded to trigger an event, such as an external stimulator.

Triggering from neural firing rates

Synapse provides sub-millisecond access to all real-time neural activity, including sort codes.

Use our Sort Binner Gizmo to trigger stimulators based on the firing of a single neuron (or all units) in a fixed time window (≥ 20 ms).

Synapse Software Versions

Save and Track your Experiments

Synapse has sophisticated tools for managing experiments, subjects, and data. Synapse has version control for experiments, a digital notebook for subject settings, and a database to review and access your recordings.

Version Control

Made a mistake? You can easily return to your previous experiment setup. Synapse’s version control logs all experiment changes and saves these versions to a database for easy retrieval. Navigate the database to access your preferred experiment protocol or review previous changes.

Digital Notebook

Synapse has a digital notebook to track subject settings and to timestamp any changes made during a recording. For example, previous spike thresholds and sort codes are automatically loaded for the subject’s next recording session. Also, filter settings, stimulation paradigms, and LED power for fiber photometry or optogenetics can be pre-set and saved for use in the next recording session.

Data Management

Review parameter changes during recording sessions with Synapse’s history function. Also use the history function to quickly access TDT’s offline analysis tools, such as Scope or Explorer, or simply copy and paste the file pathway to import your data into MATLAB or Python. Use the searchable database to access recording sessions based on experimental protocol and subject.