Spike 2 Software*

System introduction, Version 10

Spike2 is a multi-channel continuous data acquisition and analysis package. Uses range from a simple chart recorder to complex applications requiring stimulus generation, data capture, scrolling or triggered displays, control of external equipment and custom analysis. This flexibility makes it suitable for a wide range of applications for specific analysis tasks.

  • Spike2 is ideal for applications in many fields including electrophysiology, neurophysiology, sports science, pharmacology and many more.

  • Spike2 provides power and flexibility for demanding applications, such as extracellular multi-electrode recording and complex stimulus timing.

  • Spike2 features a built-in script language to customise the program and provide control from simple automation to addition of complex analyses

  • Spike2 imports data recorded by many other systems, you can take advantage of this extremely versatile software to analyse existing data.

  • Spike2 can export data to spreadsheet, text, binary and MATLAB® files.

  • Spike2 is continually updated; the latest version adds new features for free throughout the life cycle of the version.

These powerful data capture and analysis functions, together with one of the CED1401 family of laboratory interfaces, make Spike2 an extremely flexible, cost-effective and time-saving addition to any laboratory.

Heart rate and blood pressure variability analysis including Poincaré plot with fitted ellipse

Multi-channel on-line spike discrimination with 'spike monitor' display

  • Navigate through your data quickly and simply using the intuitive user interface; zoom and scroll with the mouse or keyboard

  • Record multiple data types, including waveforms, event times, coded markers, and discriminated single or multi-unit spike data.

  • Generate simple and complex protocols of waveform and pulse outputs

  • Acquire data from third-party devices using CED Talker software modules. Data can be sampled with or without a 1401 interface

  • Detect features automatically or manually and take measurements based on triggered and cyclical data with 'active' cursors

  • Analyse multiple channels of waveform and event data on-line and off-line

  • Process data with functions including: filtering, rectification, interpolation, spectral analysis and inter-channel arithmetic

  • Display and export images as you want them, with versatile display options including: triggered update with optional overdraw and 3D display and duplicated windows with independent display settings

  • Record very large numbers of channels by synchronising multiple CED 1401s

  • Customise the program with the built-in script language that provides control from simple automation to addition of complex analysis functions

  • Replay data files, with simultaneous output of waveform data through 1401 analogue outputs (DACs) or computer sound card

Script driven detection and classification of seizure activity in EEG

Force-time target following experiment. Script generated target template with overlaid subject response. Target recorded in data file with associated EMG

Data acquisition using a CED 1401
  • Record to the 64-bit format of virtually unlimited size and duration or use the established 32-bit format for backwards compatibility

  • Set different waveform sample rates per channel

  • Capture and classify single and multi-unit spike activity in real-time

  • Continuous, internally timed and triggered recording modes

  • Store up to 8 channels of event data with microsecond timing resolution

  • Log accurately timed coded 8-bit digital inputs

  • Annotate data records with text notes and keyboard markers

  • Sample data from other equipment using the CED Talker interface

  • Swap between experiment setups quickly with a single mouse click

  • Calibrate waveforms with multiple methods including values, areas, slopes

  • Automatically save and sequence multiple files with optional trigger start

  • Recover data files in the event of an un-commanded system shutdown

  • Configure dynamically programmable amplifiers including the CED1902, the Digitimer D360 (32-bit only), D440 and the Power1401 gain option

System requirements

Spike2 version 10 requires a CED intelligent laboratory interface (Power1401, a Micro1401Mk II or later) and a PC (or Intel Macintosh) with Windows 7, 8 or 10. See the compatibility table. The computer must be modern enough to support the SSE2 instruction set. We recommend that the PC has a minimum of 8GB RAM and runs Windows 10.

Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Spike2 are supplied: either version of the software can be used on systems running a 64-bit OS. The 64-bit version provides a performance increase and access to more memory.

Spike2 sampling configuration dialog

Heart rate and blood pressure variability analysis including Poincare plot with fitted ellipse

Advanced features
Experiment control and stimulus sequencing

The Spike2 output sequencer can run complex experiment control and stimulus sequencing protocols during data capture using up to 16 TTL and 8 waveform outputs. Timing is precise as it is controlled at the CED 1401 interface, not the host computer. The output sequencer can be changed while sampling.

Output protocols can be set up in two ways. A graphical editor provides all the functionality most users require, allowing creation of multiple sets of pulse outputs including square pulses, sine waves, ramps, pre-recorded and user-defined waveforms. See a video demonstration. For more demanding applications, a text editor is available in which you can edit the sequencer steps directly. This makes it possible to control the sequence interactively through the script language by use of variables and tables.

The sequencer can access the incoming waveform and event data in real-time, enabling very fast response to changes in waveform levels and detection of events.

Spike detection and sorting

Spike2 identifies and sorts single and multi-unit activity both on- and off-line. It can mark events using simple threshold crossings or sort up to 32 channels on-line with whole wave spike shape template matching of single trace and n-trode data. See a video demonstration.n

For multi-unit recordings, Spike2 contains tools for sorting spikes based on the spike waveform shape. All events crossing a threshold are captured. See a video demonstration. A combination of template matching and cluster cutting based on Principal Component Analysis (PCA), user-defined measurements, correlations or errors is then used to sort spikes into different units. Spikes can also be sorted interactively by dragging a line through spikes and classifying any which intersect. Spike Collision Analysis can separate unit collisions by comparing the current spike shape with pairs of existing templates.

Cluster cutting methods plot measured values into a 3D view that can be rotated and replayed to show the occurrence of the spikes through time. Clusters are formed by automatic algorithms or manually by placing ellipses or drawing polygons. Interactive features include INTHs for current cluster classes, tracking over time, and selection of an individual spike by clicking on its dot in the cluster.

Spike2 graphical sequence editor showing different outputs and additional control options

Multi-unit spike discrimination using PCA clustering

Items marked with* are investigational devices and for research use only. CAUTION - Investigational Device. Limited by Federal (or United States) law to investigational use.