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What is a Gizmo?

Synapse makes it easy | Synapse MRI GizmoGizmos 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 Base

Synapse Base has all the necessary Gizmos to acquire, filter, and process neural signals in real-time and to communicate with third-party devices via Digital Triggers. It includes all Gizmos in the following categories:

  • Logic – including timers, TTLs, and digital sequence generators (e.g. Pulse Generator)
  • Signal conditioning – including artifact blockers, rms calculations for analysis, and real-time control over signal parameters
  • Signal routing for parallel processing
  • Data storage for storing continuous, strobed, and timestamped data
  • Digital oscilloscope for thresholding data and triggering external events

It also contains the following Gizmos:

  • Neural Stream Processer for acquiring, filtering, and storing neural signals
  • MRI Recording Processor for artifact rejection
  • Parameter Sequencer for real-time control over signal parameters and input sequences

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 Package link to learn more about what Gizmos are included:


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

* Requires Synapse Base

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

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Fiber Photometry

Use with the RZ10x (and RZ5P) to control LED drivers and measure fluorescence from standard biosensors for fiber photometry. Includes integrated lock-in amplification and real-time calculation of ΔF/F. Use the digital I/O to receive TTLs from 3rd-party behavioral devices for time-locked recordings.


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Single-Unit Neurophysiology

Experience real-time spike sorting with PCA-based, box, and tetrode clustering algorithms. Create and
customize digital referencing of neural signals and process real-time sort codes for complex closed-loop control.


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Design simple and complex waveforms for electrical and auditory stimulation. Generate mono- and biphasic pulses, sine waves for tone pips, noise, and arbitrary waveforms from uploaded .wav files. Combine with the Subject Interface multi-channel stimulator and the switching headstage to integrate electrical stimulation.


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Pynapse Coder

Python-based programming environment with built-in coding assistance. Control event-driven behavior and closed-loop studies and process incoming signals for tight closed-loop control. Combine with TDT’s iCon interface hardware for behavior control.