The timestamps in NeuroExplorer are stored as signed integers. These integers are usually the timestamps recorded by the data acquisition system and they represent time in the so-called time ticks. For example, the typical time tick for the Plexon system is 25 microseconds, so an event recorded at 1.5 sec will be stored internally as 60000.
Prior to version 5.100, NeuroExplorer used 32-bit integers to store timestamps. Maximum 32-bit signed value is 2,147,483,647. If the data acquisition sampling rate is 40,000 Hz (the time tick is 25 microseconds), the maximum 32-bit integer value corresponds to the timestamp equal to 53687.09118 seconds or 14.913 hours. This means that if we are using 32-bit timestamps, we cannot analyze recording sessions that are longer than 14 hours 54 minutes (when recording at 40 KHz).
Starting with version 5.100, NeuroExplorer stores timestamps internally as 64-bit integers. This means that NeuroExplorer can now analyze very long recording sessions and can work with data recorded with high sampling rates. NeuroExplorer can also now store and read 64-bit timestamps in .nex5 files (.nex files do not support 64-bit timestamps).
When saving data in .nex or .nex5 files, the following rules are used:
- If maximum timestamp is less than 2,147,483,647, timestamps are saved as 32-bit integers (both in .nex and in .nex5 files)
- If maximum timestamp exceeds 2,147,483,647, NeuroExplorer will save data only in .nex5 files and the timestamps will be saved as 64-bit integers
We updated all ‘How to read/write .nex/.nex5 files…’ documents and code samples (see downloads page). The new code samples can store and read 64-bit timestamps when using .nex5 files.