Cheetah Software

High Performance Electrophysiology Recording & Experiment Control

Cheetah Software provides the ultimate, high performance electrophysiology recording and experiment control software available for neural signal processing, display, recording and network data distribution for customized, online experiment analysis and control. Through excellent software design and efficient CPU usage, Cheetah is now able to process up to 512 input electrode channels.

Developed over the past 15 years for Single Unit Action Potential and LFP research experiments, Cheetah provides the signal and data processing features and performance needed for this demanding field with the flexibility to easily configure electrode input channel assignments and signal processing options needed for the user’s specific experiments:

  • Input channel signals may be “cloned” and processed with multiple parameters, such as different low and high frequency bands for EEG and spikes;
  • Distributed data analysis and experiment control are supported by our NetCom library, enabling users to focus on custom analysis and control programs for their experiments without being concerned about the details of data acquisition engineering; and
  • Integrated Video Tracking Software (VTS) supports many modes, such as multiple “targets” for position, navigation, head direction and Grid cell experiments/studies.

Cheetah seamlessly integrates with all of Neuralynx’s hardware acquisition subsystems: Digital Lynx SX, Cube2 wireless digital telemetry, and Digital Multiplexing (MUX) Headstages (Intan) - extending the investment made in laboratory equipment. (Note: Cheetah 5.7.4 supports the older Cheetah 32/64 analog amplifier systems.)

Time Window

Time Windows provide smooth scrolling displays showing synchronized EEG/LFP CSC channels, spikes, and event records in a multi-trace oscilloscope format. Display time ranges from 100 milliseconds to 10 seconds. Individual vertical waveform zooming allows quick display adjustments to view signal details. Cheetah provides smooth scrolling even for channels with slower sampling rates. The display may be paused and reviewed for investigating interesting events.

  • High Performance: 8 to 512 channels
  • Digital Lynx Combo Board support while increasing both data acquisition and data display performance:
    • Digital Lynx 4SX – up to 128 channels
    • Digital Lynx 16SX – up to 512 channels
  • Signal processing for LFP/EEG/EMG & spike
  • Sub-sampling interleave averaging added to CSC channel processing for lower noise
  • Microwire tetrode, stereotrode and single wire spike processing
  • Optimized for 64 bit Windows® 7 and 10
  • Native 32 and 64 bit Windows® support for increased resource availability and higher performance
  • Online FFT displays improve signal evaluation
  • Online reference selection allows for quick reference change
  • Audio monitoring of input signals
  • Real-time data record distribution for experiment control & analysis (NetCom)
  • High performance displays for spikes and EEG
  • Integrated Video Tracking
  • Integrates with 3D spike sorting (SS3D)
  • Raw Data File recording - unfiltered 24 bit data files
  • Pre-defined configuration files for easy startup
  • Modifiable configuration files to suit user specific needs
  • User-friendly interfaces
  • Multi-threaded for full use of computer resources
  • Free access to extensive library of software utilities & development packages

Spike Window

Acquisition Entities and Display Properties

Channel Cloning and Digital Filtering

Neuralynx’s Digital Lynx system eliminates channel duplication challenges by digitizing and sending the signals to Cheetah without any analog domain modification: all channels are sampled at 24 bit resolution and are full bandwidth (DC to 8 kHz). This allows Cheetah to perform digital filtering - Digital Signal Processing (DSP) - on the signal. Users can make unlimited copies, or “clones,” of each input channel and use Cheetah to perform the desired bandwidth filtering for each signal type. (Note: Changes to the settings of an acquisition entity using one of the cloned channels will not affect any other acquisition entity using other clones of that channel.) The most common use of channel cloning is to record a continuous version of one of the channels of a tetrode, allowing the user to filter for low frequency signals, such as Theta, while still recording the high frequency spike activity without any special connections or equipment.



Digital Reference Selection

Cheetah manages all hardware settings “behind the scenes” - making Reference Selection (via the DRS Board or Combo Board Reference switches) set up easy. Instead of having to control each setting of the Reference Selection hardware switch arrays, the user merely sets the reference for an acquisition entity (AE) directly in the AE property page. Up to 8 References may be shared globally across all input channels.


Cheetah 6.0 manages these functions with the Digital Lynx Combo Board - one input board with both reference selection and analog-to-digital conversion – to double maximum system channel count up to 512 channels.


Cheetah 6.0 also supports existing Digital Lynx SX systems with DRS and 32 channel input boards (Hybrid, DC and AC).


Additionally, Cheetah eliminates manual programming of the references in a configuration file: the reference selection list only shows input channels and dedicated references that the hardware is currently capable of using as a reference for a particular AE. Once a reference is selected, Cheetah programs the necessary hardware changes to set the reference appropriately.