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What is a Gizmo?

Synapse makes it easy | Synapse MRI Gizmo

Synapse uses mini-apps called Gizmos to control a variety of functions – including acquisition, stimulation, logic, and more. A Gizmo consists of a simple tab-based interface with drop-down menus to modify and control the signal processing in real-time. Gizmos also allow users to take incoming signals and split them along parallel pathways for simple and complex signal processing.



Neural Gizmos

Neural gizmos combine all of your real-time neurophysiology processing tasks into a single drag-and-drop user interface. Online filtering, spike sorting, spike counting, data storage, and signal monitoring are all included. Use these as a complete recording experiment or combine with other gizmos to meet your needs. Use the runtime interfaces or for on-the-fly filter adjustments, spike detection, and online spike sorting.

Neural Stream Processor | Learn More

Easily visualize filter and store real-time multichannel neurophysiology signals. Includes built-in, optimized settings for the most common biologic signal types.

Used for: LFP, ECoG, EEG, EMG, and EKG recording


Tetrode Spike Sorting | Learn More

Real-time filtering, cross-channel tetrode spike detection, and classification in a fully customizable 2D feature projection

Used for: Awake behaving neurophysiology, acute and chronic extracellular recordings


Sort Binner | Learn More

Compress sort code output from the spike sorting gizmos for fast viewing and further processing. Optionally output to integrated RZ UDP interface for external processing.

Used for: Spike counting, cross-correlation, closed-loop feedback and control


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Neural Signal Referencer | Learn More

Digitally subtracts common signals from a multi-channel stream of neural signals. Flexible single or multi-channel referencing on all channels or independent sub-groups of channels.

Used for: Digital referencing of neural signals


PCA Spike Sorting | Learn More

Real-time filtering, spike detection, and principal component-based spike sorting with selectable algorithms

Used for: Awake behaving neurophysiology, acute and chronic extracellular recordings


Box Spike Sorting | Learn More

Real-time filtering, spike detection and time-voltage window discrimination

Used for: Awake behaving neurophysiology, acute and chronic extracellular recordings



Specialized Gizmos

Fiber Photometry | Learn More

Real-time control of up to four light drivers with acquisition and storage of demodulation results from a flexible demodulation “sensor x driver” matrix using up to two sensor inputs. Optionally store broadband raw signals and driver parameters.

Used for: Fiber photometry recordings


Pynapse Gizmo | Synapse Suite

Pynapse | Learn More

Pynapse is an embedded version of Python code that interfaces seamlessly with the TDT hardware and Synapse. The event-based interface is triggered via timers, digital triggers, and internal Synapse functions. Users can program behavioral tasks, closed-loop stimulation, and run real-time signal analysis and data visualization.

Used for: External behavioral control

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MRI Recording Processor | Learn More

Real-time artifact removal during MRI scans for spike detection and LFP analysis. Easily tune settings to automatically detect and remove artifacts in the electrophysiological data stream.

Used for: fMRI Experiments


Stimulation Gizmos

Stimulation gizmos generate precisely sequenced audio, electrical, or optical stimulation. Stimulation playback can be fully automated, or use the runtime interface to control stimulation playback parameters manually or semi-automatically and tweak stimulation parameters on the fly.

Audio Stimulation | Learn More

Generate fully customizable tone, noise, and other audio stimulation types with precise timing and control.

Used for: Audio neurophysiology, stimulus-response protocols, hearing screening protocols, psychoacoustics




File Stimulation | Learn More

Play custom waveforms from a list of files on disk, including WAV files and Matlab arrays stored in MAT files.

Used for: Speech studies, psychoacoustics, any type of custom audio or electrical stimulus presentation


Ultrasonic Stimulation | Learn More

Deliver high frequency auditory stimulation via Synapse. This is a streamlined version of Audio Stimulation for creating stimuli at ultrasonic frequencies.

Used for: Social experiments with mouse and rat vocalization cues, Intracranial ultrasonic neuron stimulation, High-frequency ABRs


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Electrical Stim Driver | Learn More

Create up to four unique stimulation voices to control a target device, such as the IZ2 or SI Stimulator.

Used for: Neural stimulation experiments, response-reward behavioral paradigms, complex cortical stimulation, peripheral nerve experiments, microstimulation, macrostimulation, optogenetics, stimulate-record protocols, closed-loop spike-triggered stimulation


Parameter Sequencer | Learn More

Control stimulus parameters, including timing and presentation sequence, in real-time for each presentation

Used for: Higher-level parameter control and stimulus presentation for all stimulation gizmos



Storage Gizmos

Epoch Event Storage | Learn More

Timestamp and store single or multi-channel data when triggered. Examples include capturing behavioral inputs or stimulus parameters to filter and align neurophysiological data.


Strobed Data Storage | Learn More

This gizmo can store single values or short segments of data (including pre-trigger data) when triggered, or store continuously while its input is enabled.


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Stream Data Storage | Learn More

The Stream Data Storage gizmo is a general purpose data streaming tool that includes options for data format and scaling.


Signal Conditioning Gizmos

Signal conditioning gizmos are simple but powerful gizmos that refine input signals.

Artifact Blocker | Learn More

Suppress artifacts associated with triggered events, such as stimulus artifacts. Runtime interface allows control of the gate timing parameters on the fly


Unary Signal Processor | Learn More

Apply a user-specified series of filtering and mathematical operations to a single or multi-channel signal.


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General Purpose Filter | Learn More

Apply flexible highpass, lowpass, and notch filters to your signal. Modify corner frequencies with runtime control interface.

Routing Gizmos

Routing gizmos provide simple ways of working with single and multi-channel signals in the Synapse framework. This includes remapping channels, combining and separating signal paths, and controlling parameter distribution to multiple gizmos.

Delay | Learn More

Adds a fixed or dynamic delay to any signal. Useful for triggering optogenetic, auditory or other stimuli a programmed time after an event of interest occurs.


Mapper | Learn More

Remap recording channels at runtime to match your electrode, headstage, and adapter combination.


Merger | Learn More

Combine up to eight single or multi-channel streams into a single multi-channel stream for further processing.


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Parameter Manifold | Learn More

Control multiple stimulation gizmo parameters simultaneously. Useful if some parameters are shared between multiple stimulation gizmos, such as duration or pulse count.


Selector | Learn More

Pick off individual channels from a multi-channel stream, or isolate a specific channel/sort code combination from Sort Binner for further real-time closed-loop control.



Analysis Gizmos

Accumulator | Learn More

Calculate running sums and averages over a defined time window and create real-time plots and thresholds from these values.

Used for: Trigger off of total or average power, Rolling average from sensors, Other time-series analyses


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Oscilloscope | Learn More

The Oscilloscope is an incredibly versatile tool that provides all functions of a hardware oscilloscope and then some. Use this virtual oscilloscope to simply monitor up to four channels in real-time or use the embedded tools to create thresholds or design more complex event triggers.



Logic Gizmos

Timer | Learn More

Automatically measure the elapsed time between logical events or calculate event frequency. Measure response time to stimuli, calculate heart rate, or time other physiologic intervals.


State Maker | Learn More

The State Maker gizmo makes it easy to implement “state machines” by performing common logical tests on inputs and combining the results into discrete output states. Output states can be used to trigger further signal processing, storage events or control operant conditioning equipment, making the gizmo useful in behavioral research paradigms.


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Pulse Generator | Learn More

Create flexible, user-defined pulse trains. Useful for directly controlling optogenetic stimulation or driving the timing of other connected devices.


User Input | Learn More

Easily capture external events like mechanical buttons or software button presses in Synapse. Create synchronized timestamp events and is a great tool for controlling logic flow.



User-Made Gizmos

Users can design unique functionality into their own custom user gizmos. Build custom processing tasks that link directly into the signal flow and designate parameters that you want to control dynamically at runtime. Users can also interact with user gizmo parameters via customer applications (Python/Matlab).

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