In the project instructions, I’ve briefly talked about the BYB SpikeRecorder app that I’ve been using on an iPad to add to my grasshopper vision project the flavor of a low-cost-and-DIY-albeit-of-great-quality tool. Here, I’ll talk about it in a bit more details to give the spotlight to one of the main components of my project.
Firstly, the purpose of the original SpikeRecorder version that BYB has published is to record data directly to your PC (or tablets & smartphones) while you can observe the recording in real time. There’s also the functionality of saving the recording to be played back anytime. And if you’re familiar with the classic model of an action potential (aka spikes!), the SpikeRecorder also allows a threshold view, where you can set your threshold and get a snapshot of your spikes.
This is a classic “spike” event when the electrochemical properties of a neuron is at work. These spikes are essentially changes in voltage due to the chemical and electrical difference inside and outside of a neuron’s membrane. Movements of sodium and potassium across the membrane via channels and the way their charges get distributed — these are the main components of a spike.
Art by Backyard Brains
If you’re interested in checking out this app and perhaps get some spikes, the app is available for android and ios. And of course, the code is on github for the open source spirit!
One of my mentors, Stanislav Mircic, is the computer science god of BYB. He graciously added the “Grasshopper experiment” functionality to the app. The app now can provide both the visual stimuli (simulated balls thrown at grasshopper’s eye) and recording/analysis of the DCMD neuron activity.
Sorting a bunch of spikes at once:
Zooming into one DCMD spike!
By Dieu My Nguyen
As part of our operations, we give talks to the public on weekly basis. We begin with neural signals from the legs of cockroaches, display of which carries low risk as the legs can grow back and cockroach leg neural signals are not covered under United States Privacy laws.
But, as we have been expanding our electrophysiology offerings to our fellow humans of this Earth, we find ourselves travelling into the internal you. We first started with muscle recordings, typically from your arms. We then went further into the body, now regularly showing the electrical signals of the hearts of the audience.
But as we entered the final domain and began demonstrating the electrical waves of the cerebral cortex, we began to feel a slight discomfort.
We realized Pablo’s brain is exposed to all the world. Furthermore, once shared on social media, his brain waves are no longer his property. This must be stopped. Given the rash of recent hacks on sensitive websites, Backyard Brains is preemptively offering a “Brain Privacy Mode” on its Spike Recorder software
Your brain is now safe. You now have the discretion to reveal your cerebral cortex only to those intimate to you.
Meet the EMG Reaction Timer!
The EMG Reaction Timer will settle once and for all who has the fastest draw in the west… or you can use it to perform neuroscience experiments, in the home or classroom, exploring how we respond to different kinds of stimuli! The Reaction Timer works with our EMG SpikerBox and Spike Recording Apps to give you the most precise measurement of how quickly you can react to a stimulus! There’s no buttons to press or rulers to catch, which can create a minor amount of lag, you just have to FLEX in response to the cue! (more…)