NAC 2.0 Description

Hippocampal slice

Use the NAC 2.0 neurodata acquisition system to control and analyze experiments on brain tissue using a PC running Microsoft Windows® XP/Vista/7. Use it for

  • in vivo, slice preparations, or cell cultures
  • evoked or spontaneous potentials
  • audio or electrical stimulation
  • continuous or episodic recording


Our NAC 2.0 system consists of a data acquisition card, a connector box with BNC plugs to interface to your instruments (stimulus isolation amplifiers, recording electrode amplifiers, filters, etc.), NACGather software to control and acquire data from an experiment, and NACShow software to help you view and analyze data when an experiment is over. Below we describe these components in more detail.

DaqBoard/2000 data acquisition card

DaqBoard/2000: This data acquisition card fits into a PCI slot on your PC. It has 16 bits of resolution and can record data at 200 kHz. As used in the NAC 2.0 system, the DaqBoard/2000 can simultaneously record from up to 8 input channels while sending 50 kHz analog and digital output waveforms to either (a) 2 analog output channels or (b) 1 analog channel and 4 digital channels. For more detail, click here.

NAC 2.0 Connector Box

Connector box: Use the connector box to connect your instruments to the data acquisition card using BNC cables or a 3.5mm stero phono plug. The connector box has 8 BNC jacks for the 8 recording channels CH0, ..., CH7. These typically connect to the amplifiers and filters for your recording electrodes. The connector box also has 2 BNC jacks, AOUT0 and AOUT1, and a 3.5 mm stereo phono jack for outputting analog waveforms. The connector box also has 4 BNC jacks, DOUT0,...DOUT3 for outputting digital waveforms - typically sequences of trigger pulses to a stimulator. The are 2 digital outputs, D0 and D1, for triggering instruments (e.g., pumps) that can be switched on/off using TTL pulses. For more detail, click here.

NACGather software

NACGather: NACGather lets you set up and execute experiment stimulation and recording protocols. NACGather can extract and plot measurements (e.g., peak amplitude, decay tau, etc.) from tissue sample responses as they are recorded so that you can monitor tissue viability and observe how your experiment is progressing. You can run recording scripts to record data for a preset amount a time or you can continually acquire and plot data while running continuous recordings. Automatically cycle through a sequence of one or more recording scripts a preset number of times, until you manually stop iterating, or until the progam determines user-defined measurements are sufficiently stable. For more detail, click here. To download a NACGather demo version, click here.

NACShow software

NACShow: Use the NACShow program to view and analyze data from your experiment after the experiment is over. Generate customizable reports with plots and tables of measurements and measurement summaries (e.g., mean, variance, ratio, etc.). Tissue sample images can be saved with the data and included in reports as part of the record of your experiment. For more detail, click here. To download a NACShow demo version, click here.


To use NAC 2.0, you will need a PC with:

  • one available bus-mastering PCI slot with enough space for the 6.5"x0.6"x4.2" data acquisition card (some of the increasingly popular micro-PCs may not have enough room),
  • Microsoft®Windows XP/Vista/7,
  • 256 MB or more of memory, and
  • any Intel or AMD CPU better than an Intel 500MHz PIII.