Neurologger Synchronizer is designed for synchronization of the Neurologgers of all generations with the external equipment. Neurologgers are stand-along systems that are able to record electrophysiological data in their internal memory without any additional external equipment. After the end of experiment, the gathered data can be downloaded in the computer with the help of special USB adapter for further processing. However, in many cases it is desirable to have precise time-stamps of certain events in the record. This can be: time labels of audio/video or other type of stimulus, time of the beginning and the end of the experimental session, and other similar time points. Putting such event labels is possible with the help of IR-receiver add-on micro-board attached to the Neurologger. This microboard also contains 3-D accelerometer to store acceleration of the animal head (or part of the body where the Neurologger is attached) together with the electrophysiological record. Such record can help in some cases in interpretation of the data.
The IR-receiver micro-board receives signal from the IR emitter(s) attached usually somewhere at the top of the animal experimental cage and directed to the animal location. The IR-emitters are controlled by the Neurologger Synchronizer unit described in this manual. The Neurologger Synchronizer is designed to receive signals from external equipment that can provide a TTL /CMOS output or audio output, or just a push button controlled by the experimenter. The Neurologger Synchronizer has also USB interface and it can be attached to any computer with the USB port. In the software the device is visible as a serial port.
Thus, user can use any custom written software capable to send data to the serial port of the computer to send time labels to the Neurologger. Such software can be written in Matlab, LabView or common programming languages like C and Delphi/Pascal. In the simplest case the user can use Windows Terminal (or any other Terminal program) for making labels. In this case each keystroke of the keyboard can be transmitted and stored in the Neurologger and be precisely aligned with the neuronal data. If desired, several animals carrying Neurologgers can be placed together in one experimental chamber. In this case synchronizing labels from the Neurologger Synchronizer will be written in all recording units.
We provide Matlab examples illustrating interaction with Neurologger Synchronizer. Analog input with adjustable threshold also can be used with a push button. Pressing on this button will initiate transmission of a predefined pattern of IR pulses to the Neurologgers. Software for conversion of Neurologger data to Matlab and other environments is provided.