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CED Data Acquisition and Analysis


A-M Systems is pleased to offer the complete line of CED Data Acquisition and Analysis tools, including their sophisticated Spike2 software package. CED has manufactured high quality software and instrumentation for the physiologist for over 40 years, and is a perfect complement to A-M Systems neurophysiological instrumentation.

Whether your data consists of continuous or episodic waveforms, CED offers software and hardware packages that can stream the data to your computer, perform online and offline analysis, control your experimental protocols and select A-M Systems amplifiers, and generate a variety of stimulus waveforms.

The following links describe in detail the various software and hardware packages available, but the first step is to determine which software package is most applicable to your experimental protocol (Spike2 or Signal), and which acquisition system is best suited to acquire the data you want to record (Micro1401 or Power1401).


Spike2 or Signal?

Spike2 is designed for multi-channel continuous data collection and analysis, and its applications could have traditionally been handled by chart recorders. Signal is a sweep based system analogous to a storage oscilloscope.

Multi-channel Spikes
Action Potentials
Blood Pressure / QRS
Evoked Potentials
Whole Cell and Single Channel Patch Clamp
Dynamic Patch Clamp

Both programs enable include recording and analysis features suitable for a wide range of applications. Additional add-on modules for specific tasks are not required. Both also offer a built-in scripting language for writing analysis tools or automating repetitive tasks. Among the other common features of both programs are:

  • Import/Export data to multiple data formats, including spreadsheet, text, binary, Axon, Heka, and MATLAB®
  • Generate simple and complex protocols of waveform and pulse outputs
  • Process data with mathematical functions including: filtering, rectification, interpolation, & inter-channel arithmetic
  • Display and export images as you want them, with versatile display options
  • Replay data files, with simultaneous output of waveform data
  • Navigate through data files with simple mouse pan and zoom, axis dragging, scroll bar and keyboard control
  • Automatically find data features

Additional information on Spike2 can be found here. Additional Information on Signal can be found here.

Acquisition Hardware

ACQUISITION HARDWARE: Micro1401 or Power1401?

Both of CEDs' acquisition boards are compatible with either Spike2 or Signal.

The Micro1401 offers highly competitive performance at a low price point. The on-board processor with high speed memory is optimized for real time processing, free from the constraints of the host computer operating system. It features high-speed waveform capture at rates up to 500kHz with 16-bit resolution.

For power users that require faster speeds and additional DAC outputs, the Power1401 is designed for you. The Power1401 has a 1 GHz processor and on-board memory that can handle high speed data capture, independent waveform sample rates and complex on-line analysis. If you are interested in Dynamic Clamping, then the Power1401 is acquisition system of choice due to its much faster processing speed.

Features Micro1401 Power1401
Waveform Input4 (expandable to 64)16 (expandable to 48)
ADC16-bit 500kHz16-bit 1MHz
DAC24 (expandable to 8)
DIO16 in / 16 out16 in / 16 out
Memory4Mbytes1Gbyte expandable to 2GB
Dynamic Clamping CapabilityNoYes

Among the other common features of both acquisition boxes are:

  • Rack-mountable
  • Utilize USB 2.0 High Speed connectivity
  • Capable of firmware upgrades via the internet
  • Highly expandable using CED accessory expansion boxes

Additional information on the Micro1401 can be found here. Additional Information on the Power1401 can be found here.


Expand the capabilities of the Micro1401 and the Power1401 acquisition systems by taking advantage of the many compatible expansion boxes and instruments designed by CED and A-M Systems. These expansion boxes can be used to increase the number of recorded channels and facilitate easy connectivity, or serve as highly flexible signal pre-conditioning amplifiers. Learn more about the Micro1401 compatible accessories here, and the Power 1401 compatible accessories here. The 1902 amplifier is designed to meet the requirements of many common physiological experiments. All of A-M System’s instruments are CED compatible, including our high channel count amplifiers and patch clamp.