NACGather


NACGather

NACGather is a computer program that you use to collect and monitor data during your experiment. You use it to set up a stimulation and recording protocol for your experiment. As you record you can display a history of measurements extracted from the data to monitor the progress of your experiment. Some of NACGather's features are:

  • Record for preset time intervals or stream data continuously to disk.
  • Generate huge variety of stimulation patterns tightly synchronized with recording.
  • Optionally use external triggers to start recording.
  • Create various recording scripts to describe recording and stimulation parameters for preset time intervals.
  • Create stages to automatically iterate through one or more recording scripts.
  • Automatically sequence through one or more stages as you run an experiment.
  • Compute and plot many types of measurements from data (more on this below) while you record data.
  • Count spikes.
  • Automatically detect stable baseline.
  • Automatically start pumps at beginning or end of experiment stage.
  • Save images of tissue samples with data collected as part of the record of your experiment.
  • Add memos to data file for future reference.
  • Import and/or export experiment setups with other NAC 2.0 users.

Save money on stimulators

Note that because the NACGather software can deliver just about any pattern of trigger pulses, for most experiments, you may not need to purchase an expensive stimulator to generate patterns of stimulations (e.g., bursts, trains, etc.). You may be able to save money by purchasing a stimulator that simply outputs a single stimulation pulse to your stimulation electrode for each trigger pulse that the stimulator detects in the digital waveform from one the digital output waveform channels DOUT0, DOUT2, ..., DOUT3.

Create huge variety of measurements

Cursors

NACGather can compute many different measurements on the data. Before we list these, note that most measurements refer to time intervals that we refer to as cursor pairs since in some of the NACGather forms the times intervals are represented by vertical cursors on plots (see plot to right). Cursors are essentially a way to make the measurements refer to selected portions of data. For example, for evoked potentials you may have multiple peaks that appear in the data at predictable times. Cursors allow you to take separate measurements of, say, peak amplitudes for different peaks on your data.

Here we list measurements that refer to one cursor pair (time interval).

  • Average between cursors
  • Rise between cursors
  • Fall between cursors
  • Rise slope between cursors
  • Fall slope between cursors
  • Maximum between cursors
  • Minimum between cursors
  • Time (ms) at maximum
  • Time (ms) at minimum

Many times, you want to measure a peak in your data. For the peak measurements listed below, two cursor pairs are used. One cursor pair delinates a portion of the data prior to an evoked response called the baseline. Another cursor pair marks a time range containing the peak. The peak is measured relative to the baseline. Note that because you can define an arbitrary number of cursor pairs, you can take measurements of many different peaks that may occur in your data (simultaneously). The various peak measurements are.

  • Peak amplitude
  • Peak area
  • Area between cursors above baseline
  • Peak fall slope
  • Peak fall time
  • Peak rise slope
  • Peak rise time
  • Peak decay tau
  • Peak half-width

Similar measurements can be made on troughs.

  • Trough amplitude
  • Trough area
  • Area between cursors below baseline
  • Trough fall slope
  • Trough fall time
  • Trough rise slope
  • Trough rise time
  • Trough decay tau
  • Trough half-width

In NACGather, you can compute measurements based on other measurements. That is you can compute a new measurement by subtracting, adding, multiplying or dividing two previously-defined measurements. You might use these options to, for example, compute the time difference between two peaks or to compute the ratio of the amplitude of two different troughs in your data.

  • MeasurementA - MeasurementB
  • MeasurementA + MeasurementB
  • MeasurementA * MeasurementB
  • MeasurementA / MeasurementB

In some cases, users want to measure the size of a trough (or peak) relative to peaks (or troughs) bracketing them. These measurements are for this situation.

  • Peak-trough-peak amplitude
  • Trough-peak-trough amplitude

Users can set up spike detectors and compute the following measurements based on the spikes that NACGather detects.

  • Spike count
  • Spike interval
  • Spike rate

If you have suggestions for measurements you would like added, please contact us with your suggestion. We often add new features to NACGather based on user's suggestions.