Neuroexplorer V5 and New Digital Headstages

Plexon’s newsletter from June 25, 2014 discussing the release of Neuroexplorer version 5 as well as Plexon’s new digital headstages.


June 25, 2014

NeuroExplorer® v5 is Only 5 Days Away

NeuroExplorer® version 5.0 is almost here! By the number of labs who have already requested quotes and/or purchased access to v5.0 since the announcement last month, this is going to be big! If you missed what’s new, here you go:

Version 5.0 is a truly significant expansion of functionality over the previous version – seven years in the making! Some of the most significant advances include:

  • Vastly improved spectral analyses of spike trains and continuous channels including single taper and multi-taper calculations of spectra, six available windowing functions, three preprocessing options, jackknife confidence, the ability to replicate MATLAB® spectral calculations, up to 10 times faster calculation of spectral results and more.
  • New analyses of continuous data (LFP) such as perievent rasters, power spectra, coherence, single trial spectrum analysis, and phase analysis using Hilbert Transform.
  • New digital filtering options for continuous data including seven new IIR and FIR filters.
  • New spike train analyses featuring firing rate versus head direction and single trial rate estimation via adaptive kernels.
  • New statistical tests (T-tests, Wilcoxon tests and ANOVA) can compare results across conditions such as implemented via integration with R-script. New statistical tests can be also be added by users by writing R-project.
  • Immediate preview of data when a data file is loaded.
  • New 64-bit build enabling NeuroExplorer v5.0 to load and analyze multi-gigabyte data files and display hundreds of millions of rows on new data grids.
  • Supporting the new .NEX5 data file format that is more flexible than the previous .NEX format such that it allows saving files greater than 2GB in size and saves unlimited metadata for the whole file and for every file variable in JSON format.
  • Enhanced ability to save and restore results such that it saves all numerical and graphical results in a series of linked files, and a user can open results files without recalculation, as well as replicate results.
  • More efficient processing as computationally demanding analyses are run in parallel using all CPU cores.
  • Localized language such that any language can be used in file names, file comments and variable names.

For a quote listing single or three-seat licensing packages, or for upgrades from any prior version of NeuroExplorer, contact

New Digital Headstages Unveiled at 41st NIC

This was the biggest NIC yet with nearly 450 people participating from around the world. Attendees had the first glimpse of Plexon’s PRE-LAUNCH Digital Headstage Processor (DHP) and accompanying Digital Headstages designed for use with Plexon’s flagship OmniPlex® hardware and software. Combined they offer an especially full featured, efficient and economical solution for electrophysiology research laboratories – especially at higher channel counts.

The OmniPlex System using the new DHP and digital headstages offers electrical isolation, impedance measurements and digitiziation at 40kHz with phase shift correction for simultaneous sampling – unlike other digital headstage based systems – for up to 256 channel systems. Digital headstages are available in 16, 32 and 64 channels with the 16 and 32 channel headstages weighing 1.0g or less – making them some of the lightest weight digital headstages available today.

For more information, contact

Meet the Workshop Raffle Winner from NIC

Due to popular demand, Plexon once again hosted a Workshop Raffle – this time at the NIC. We raffled off a FREE REGISTRATION to the very popular, intense, multi-day, hands-on 2015 Annual Neurophysiology and Behavioral Research Workshop. The winner will receive a full registration valued at $900.00. Earlier this year, the attendees rated the 2014 event an outstanding 9.5/10 – and included the winner from our first Workshop Raffle that took place at Neuroscience 2013.

At the close of the conference exhibition today at 10:00 a.m., Central Time, and on behalf of Plexon, KC Kong, Sr. Manager of Sales and Marketing for NeuroNexus, blindly pulled the winning entry from the raffle bin. Plexon is thrilled to congratulate the winner: Sohail Noor from the University of Calgary!

Sohail will have the opportunity to take one of the 40 limited seats to join researchers from all over the globe as they descend on Dallas for several days of focused training and exercises presented by renowned researchers and Plexon subject matter experts.

We thank all raffle contestants for stopping by and participating. Researchers will have another chance to win during the upcoming 9th Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) Forum of Neuroscience in Milan, Italy shortly.

Next Workshop Raffle at FENS 2014

Next, we are headed to the 9th Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) Forum of Neuroscience in Milan and can’t wait! Do to all of the new equipment we want share with you, we have doubled our booth size from our typical showing.

Additionally, we will hold the second Workshop Raffle this year in which another lucky researcher will win the opportunity to participate in the 2015 Annual Neurophysiology and Behavioral Research Workshop while Plexon pays his/her registration fee of $900. Don’t miss your chance to register! See you in Italy . . .

Did you know . . . Important U- & V-Probe Cleaning Techniques?

U-Probes and V-Probes (probes) are exceptionally robust, multi-use linear electrodes. If handled properly, they will provide reliable, consistent recordings for a long time to come. However, it is paramount to establish a proper probe cleaning routine to achieve such dependable longevity. The next few sentences will highlight some of the important aspects of probe cleaning.

Any proteins, lipids, blood, or other biological matter must be eliminated immediately after the probe has been removed from the tissue. Otherwise, these substances may dry on the probe surface, covering the sites. This dried layer will serve as an insulator, greatly increasing the impedance during future experiments and resulting in decreased signal quality.

Plexon recommends one of two cleaning methods: enzymatic detergents (most recommended) or Nolvasan disinfectant. Should you choose another alternative, ensure that the electrode sites are not physically wiped/rubbed with any material including cloth or cotton swabs as this may have a detrimental effect on impedance.

With the enzymatic detergent method, Plexon recommends using either Metrex™ EmPower™ Dual-Enzymatic Detergent or Tergazyme™ from Alconox. In short, you would appropriately dilute the detergent in water between 68-104°F (20-40°C), stir the probe in the solution for ~30 seconds, allow it to soak for 30 minutes, then rinse in purified, distilled water.

When using the Nolvasan disinfectant method, place the probe shaft and tip into diluted Nolvasan disinfectant solution for one hour, then rinse by running purified, distilled water over the probe.

With either method, finish with air drying and returning the probe to its protective box. If it is not possible to immediately clean the probe after use, it should be submerged in water until it can be thoroughly cleaned. More detailed instructions can be found in the U-Probe Technical Guide or the V-Probe Technical Guide found on the Resources tab of the respective product web pages.

Research Spotlight

Let us know about your 2014 publication citing Plexon and our equipment and we will send you a thank you award with a mug and a T-shirt! Send notices, address and T-shirt size to

All articles listed are alphabetical based on first author within two categories: articles published online in electronic-only journals or ahead of print, and articles published in full print.

Recent articles published online in electronic-only journals or ahead of print:

Recent articles published in full print:


Plexon Workshop Alumni Speak Out

“Plexon’s workshop provides a logical guide for recording electrophysiological data, going from hardware setup and theory, all the way to software analysis of the collected data. Hands-on exercises bring the theory into practice, with Plexon’s helpful staff offering one-on-one guidance throughout the workshop. You also get to meet and talk to the programmers that wrote the data collecting and analyzing programs that you use every day in the lab; which are the most knowledgeable people there are in ephys software. Furthermore, if you have a recording setup from Plexon, you are introduced to a wide range of behavioral tracking, electrical stimulation, and optogenetic kits that work along with Plexon’s existing hardware and software.”

Kelvin Quiñones-Laracuente
Department of Psychiatry, University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine

Register for 2014 China Workshop

July 22-24, 2014 at the East China Normal University in Shanghai. Contact for more information or to register.

JoVE/PlexBright® Winner

Stay tuned in as the winner of the Plexon/JoVE Publication Grant Contest for research performed using the PlexBright® Optogenetic Stimulation System will be announced in the next newsletter.

Office Closures

In honor of Independence Day, Plexon World Headquarters will be closed Friday, July 4 and will reopen for business on Monday at our standard business time. See annual office holidays for the US and European offices for additional closures throughout the year.

Upcoming Events


PLEXON®, the five-line symbol, CereStage™, CinePlex®, DigiAmp™, MiniDigi™, Offline Sorter™, OmniPlex®, PL2™, PlexBright®, PlexDrive™, Radiant™, and RapidGrid™ are registered and
unregistered trademarks of Plexon Inc, Dallas, Texas, USA. ©2014 Plexon Inc. Other product and company names mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.