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Synapse Software

Synapse provides an integrated approach for your neuroscience research. Design experiments for data collection, processing, and stimulus presentation – all in one software.

Synapse offers streamlined tools for neural recordings, such as filters, spike sorting, and detection of evoked responses – in addition to calcium imaging and behavioral control. Synapse also has signal presentation for optogenetics, auditory, and electrical stimulation. This includes timers and triggers that can be implemented for real-time closed-loop control.

Research Uses

Product Specs


Synapse GizmosSynapse makes it easy

Gizmos are the programming component of Synapse.

Each Gizmo has a unique set of functions for processing and controlling acquired signals, generated waveforms, and logic. Multiple Gizmos can be linked together to build complex and parallel signal processing chains. Each Gizmo has predefined controls that can be fixed during experiment design or adjusted during runtime in the Synapse software.

Synapse Gizmos

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 an external stimulator 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.

Synapse Packages

Synapse Base provides the basic tools for designing, processing, and collecting your neural data. Further expand Synapse’s functionality with tailored software packages. The following chart shows what packages are required for each experiment type. Click the Research link to learn more:


Research Fiber Photometry* Single-Unit Neurophys* Stimulation* Pynapse Coder* Synapse Base Only
Fiber Photometry X
Spike Sorting X
Electrical Stimulation X
Auditory Stimulation X
Behavior Control X

* Requires Synapse Base

For more questions or to start a 30-day trial:

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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.

Fiber photometry - Recording in Synapse - dF/F


Spike Sorting

Record single units and perform real-time, multi-channel spike sorting with automated thresholding. Online sorting Gizmos are available for PCA-based, box, and tetrode clustering algorithms.

Trigger from neural firing rates with sub-millisecond access to all real-time neural activity. Use the 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 - Single Units and LFP ephys

Behavioral Control

Pynapse is an all-in-one Gizmo with built-in features that simplify the configuration of behavioral paradigms and give users complete experimental control. Quickly design a simple task (e.g. self-administration of a reward) or a complex task (e.g. two-alternative force choice experiment) using the integrated Python coding.

Pynapse displays all behavioral events, lever presses, rewards, and other experimental metrics in real-time to allow for rapid and efficient changes to task requirements in response to the subject’s skill set.

All this and more – perfectly integrated into your electrophysiology and/or fiber photometry project!

Pynapse Trial Metrics screenshot


Synapse Stimulation is an integrated toolset designed for electrical and auditory stimulus generation*. There are Stimulation Gizmos to generate simple monophasic pulses, sinewaves, and complex arbitrary waveforms. All Gizmos have precise real-time control of the amplitude, duration, and interstimulus interval of the stimulus waveform. In addition, design complex sequences in Synapse or with a third-party software, such as Matlab or Python.

* Optical stimulation is included with Synapse Base.

Electrical Stimulation

Auditory Stimulation

The Stimulation package expands upon mono- and biphasic pulses to deliver complex stimulation patterns across multiple electrodes. Design stimulation paradigms to assess stimulus response curves, drive patterns for current steering, and elicit real-time tactile feedback and natural sensory responses.


The Stimulation package provides all the tools for standard auditory presentation. Design simple and complex waveforms to control stimulus presentation for such tasks as tuning curves, P300 event-related potentials, and mismatched negativity.



Synapse setup for tone pips

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.