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NWB: Neurophysiology

Neurodata Without Borders: Neurophysiology sample data sets have been contributed by four laboratories: the Allen Institute for Brain Science; the Buzsáki lab at New York University School of Medicine, the Meister lab at the  California Institute of Technology and the Svoboda lab at the Janelia Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

These sample data sets have been translated into the “NWB” unified data format, which has been developed to incorporate present and future electrophysiological and optical physiology data  and to include complex metadata related to stimuli and behavior. To learn more about the data sets, visit the links below. Information about the NWB format and how to use it will be added as it becomes available.

Allen Cell Types Database

There are 86 billion neurons in the adult human brain, and like snowflakes, no two are exactly the same. Brain cells are found in a dizzying array of intricate shapes, have different electrical patterns and functions, and express different genes. Sorting these cells into “types” is an enormous and complex challenge, but before we can hope to understand our brains, we need to create a rich list of its building blocks.

The Allen Cell Types Database is a new tool to help scientists create that list, and to understand what makes one type of cell different from another.  “Identifying neuronal cell types is essential to unraveling the mystery of how the brain processes information and gives rise to perception, memory and consciousness,” says Christof Koch, President and Chief Scientific Officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science. “This is the first resource of its kind to bring together multiple types of data—shape, position in the brain and electrical activity—in a single searchable database anywhere on the planet.”

Data in the Allen Cell Types Database is organized in an alpha version of the NWB format and will be updated in later releases.

Overview of the Allen Human Brain Atlas

Cell Feature Filters


Electrophysiology Data Summary

Electrophysiology Summary

NWB: Neurophysiology Data Sets

The majority of NWB:N data sets are hosted at CRCNS.org. CRCNS (Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience) is a joint program of NSF and NIH that supports integration of theoretical and experimental neuroscience through collaborative research projects.

The following data sets represent the primary use cases for the development of the NWB format:

  • Rat hippocampus, contributed by György Buzsáki, New York University (CRCNS hc-3 data set)
  • Mouse slice electrophysiology, contributed by the Allen Institute (CRCNS pvc-6 data set)
  • Electrophysiological recordings from rat barrel cortex, contributed by Karel Svoboda, Janelia Research Campus (HHMI) (CRCNS alm-1  data set)
  • Calcium imaging of rat somatosensory cortex, contributed by Karel Svoboda, Janelia Research Campus (HHMI) (CRCNS ssc-1 data set)
  • Retina, contributed by Markus Meister at the California Institute of Technology (CRCNS ret-1 data set)

This list will be updated to reference additional data sets and requirements as they are compiled at CRCNS.org.