Adding Labels instead of Electrode Numbers

I wanted to share some of our personal experience as part of our ongoing project.
One thing that really helped us internally was re-labelling the sensors that you see in the GUI to actual labels. In our setup I carefully sized up the TV we use in the lab so that the channels would overlap (see Image below). This could be done within the GUI if you could import a location file (through a *.ced or relabeling a file within the code). It really helps when you are trying to get measurements done in a timely manner. In most cases, electrodes require attention due to high impedance or insufficient gel and require an experimenter's attention. Having labels that reflect 10/20 positions, might sound picky, but in our use case saved precious time.

For now we will continue to use my amateur Photoshop skills but if anyone knows a way to modify this I would love to hear it!


  • retiututretiutut Louisiana, USA
    edited March 30

    It would be very difficult to do this with Cyton or Ganglion across the entire GUI as the electrode positions are customizable. Some people use these boards for EMG, EOG, or EKG also. The Cyton even supports multi-modal data acquisition if the hardware settings are set properly.

    If there were an option to type this in, it would need to be typed in for all electrodes every time the session starts. Adding another minor setting like this to save/load would add even more complexity. Additionally, custom configuring electrode positions in the HeadPlot widget would take a lot of work. It might also start confusing many users. For now, Channel 1 is Channel 1 across the entire GUI. But if Channel 1 becomes Fp1, how do we know which channel Fp1 is? This is the main reason the GUI uses channel numbers only for all boards and modes.

    While this is may be a great solution for your use-case, it's hard to see how this would translate into a feature for everyone. There would have to be a character limit to ensure text can be readable. This is why there are no problems currently displaying up to 2 digits in the Channel On/Off buttons. The overlay you are doing actually hides these buttons and the impedance check buttons.

    Since the GUI is open-source, you are free to build off of GUI v5.0.4 and change the channel names. You would then open the GUI in Processing and Export Application. Honestly, this might not fit inside the TimeSeries On/Off button for each channel bar. Making this larger would decrease the size of each TimeSeries ChannelBar graph.

    Saving data to BDF would allow you to go in afterwards and specify electrode names. Another option would be to write a Python script that changes the header in the CSV output to list electrode positions.

    In conclusion, there are many places throughout the stack that rely on channel numbers to make things as clear as possible for all users and all use cases. Typically, when a lab decides on an electrode placement, they stick with it for the duration of a study.

    Thanks for the feedback and sharing. I hope this small essay explains that we have considered this and the challenges involved with adding this option across the entire GUI in a way that helps all users.

    Take Care,

  • retiututretiutut Louisiana, USA

    Maybe if enough users and the internal team think this is a good idea, the work would be justified. I will try to bring this up at a software meeting in the near future.

    This really got me thinking about how this could be done. If nothing else, my above response will help me in developing such a feature.

  • alapoalapo Canada

    Wow! Greatly appreciate your essay on this. Very informative. Couple of comments

    1. I think the character limit should be 3 to align with 10-20 positions. This would also work with EMG, ACC (accelerometer), ECG etc.
    2. Completely agree, most labs decide on a setup and stick with it across the length of the entire study.
    3. The labels are mostly useful during the data collection period, there's no real issue important a vector of numbers into MATLAB. I am more than happy to showcase this in a video when we re-launch data collection. Perhaps pictures would be useful.

    In closing, completely agree with everything you said, for us putting on a label next to the TV is no big deal. But I felt compelled to give some feedback.

    Thanks again,

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