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Neuroscience for Everyone!

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ByB has First Sale, First Field Test!

With elbow grease and many hours at his workshop then he would care to admit, Tim of ByB hunkered down and made a new SpikerBox by hand last week (as we finalize our production design), for an impending hard deadline of delivery by November 9th. Tim was sad to see this SpikerBox was his best one yet!

field SB

But, a professor in Minnesota wanted one for a “teaching biology” course she was running this past weekend, so it was delivery by then or wait till next Spring! ByB got it out just in time, and we have our fingers crossed for the feedback!


Now on to getting those PCB’s completed….


ByB Founders Published auf Deutsche!

In a previous life, during our graduate work, Greg and Tim (along with co-conspirator Hirak Parikh), presented satirical neuroscience posters at the Society for Neuroscience conference. These eventually turned into papers in the Annals of Improbable Research (read about Stock Market Neurons and the Cingularity Apocalypse at your leisure), but our good friend Manfred Spitzer recently translated these works in German and published them in a book packed with tongue-in-cheek articles on neuroscience. Contribute to the Backyard Brains R&D fund! You can purchase the book here. A small bit of royalties go to us, and this will pour right into ByB, and ultimately straight back to you, fellow SpikerFriends!

page from book

Book Cover

ByB brings Spikes to the Society for Neuroscience

Backyard Brains recently spent five days in Chicago for the Society for Neuroscience conference, which is the primo place to be to show off your latest discoveries on the workings of the mysterious brain. 30,000 people! and ByB is proud to say they were probably the first poster presenters since the annual meeting began in 1971 to do actual recordings at the conference! We brought a veritable lab to our exhibit.

poster lab

And quite the crowd came to see Greg demonstrate our prototypes

Greg showing probes

And, via our newest collaborator and colleague Alex Wiltschko, we officially announced a new iPhone app for recording spikes! Now you don’t even need a computer to do your neuroscience. See Greg showing it off below..

iPhone App

The official Spanish speaking liaison of Backyard Brains, Mrs. Jennifer Trigger Marzullo, talked about the SpikerBox to some of our fellow Neuroscientists from Mexico and Argentina. “Lo hacemos en el garaje!”

Spanish Backyard Brains

Backyard Brains was also proud to announce its first sale! Gina Poe, faculty member at the University of Michigan and a thesis committee member from Tim’s PhD dissertation, gave us a down payment on the first SpikerBox. Thanks Gina! We’re on it! 😉

first sale

Of course, with so many of our hero neuroscientists present, Backyard Brains recruited hard. We tried unsuccessfully to convince George Paxinos, author of famed Rat Atlas in Sterotaxic Coordinates, to make a new book on the cockroach. He was kind enough, though, to let us take a picture with him.

ByB Paxinos

And, to Tim’s delight, ByB ran into Eberhard Fetz. One could quite easily argue Tim’s whole PhD Dissertation was based on work done by Professor Fetz. Operant Conditioning of Unit Activity? Done in 1969, better than you. Investigation of LFPs and spikes in Motor Cortex? Done in 1996, better than you. Simultaneous Recording and Stimulation for Closed-Loop Control? Done in 2008, better than you. Even Backyard Brain’s new use of a smartphone as a data acquisition device? Done in 2006, better than you.

But, with a huge smile and a sigh of relief on our parts, Professor Fetz liked the SpikerBox and iPhone app and gave us a thumbs up. Keep us sharp Eb!

Fetz ByB

Now back to work and getting to production!