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Bonsai: An event-based framework for processing and controlling data streams

By Gonçalo Lopes, Niccolò Bonacchi, João Frazão, Joana Pereira Neto, Bassam V. Atallah, Sofia Soares, Luís Moreira, Sara Matias, Pavel M. Itskov, Patrícia A. Correia, Roberto E. Medina, Lorenza Calcaterra, Elena Dreosti, Joseph J. Paton, Adam Raymond Kampff

Posted 02 Jul 2014
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/006791 (published DOI: 10.3389/fninf.2015.00007)

The design of modern scientific experiments requires the control and monitoring of many parallel data streams. However, the serial execution of programming instructions in a computer makes it a challenge to develop software that can deal with the asynchronous, parallel nature of scientific data. Here we present Bonsai, a modular, high-performance, open-source visual programming framework for the acquisition and online processing of data streams. We describe Bonsai's core principles and architecture and demonstrate how it allows for flexible and rapid prototyping of integrated experimental designs in neuroscience. We specifically highlight different possible applications which require the combination of many different hardware and software components, including behaviour video tracking, electrophysiology and closed-loop control of stimulation parameters.

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