physiology software

John Dempster cecs06 at strath.ac.uk
Mon May 9 13:01:25 EST 1994

In article <Pine.3.89.9405051400.C11703-0100000 at elwha.evergreen.edu> ottj at ELWHA.EVERGREEN.EDU (Janet Ott) writes:
>Subject: physiology software
>From: ottj at ELWHA.EVERGREEN.EDU (Janet Ott)
>Date: 5 May 1994 14:53:20 -0700

> ...  Does anyone out there do 
>physiology with computers and transducers and if so, do you use Macs or 
>PCs?  Which of those do you think is more user friendly?  WHich is more 
>powerful?  In short, which do you recommend?  Secondly, which software do 
>you recommend?  I see LabView as the "default" but am curious if it 
>really is the best out there for basic physiological studies.

Data acquisition systems of similar quality are available for both PCs and 
Macs, it really depends upon what you prefer, and the exact kind of experiments
you intend to do. It also depends upon whether you want a complete "turn key"
system or whether you intend to do some programming.

The MacLab system (ADInstruments Inc. PO Box 845 Milford MA (800) 234 1757)
is an easy to use system for the Mac, with both chart recorder and oscilloscope
emulate programs. The company also supplies signal conditioners to provide the
necessary amplification for pressure or tension transducers. It is a good 
choice for teaching undergraduate lab. classes.

A similar PC (DOS) based system is AxoTape from Axon Instruments (1101 Chess 
Drive Foster City CA, 415 571 9400. The company supplies a very powerful 
computer-controlled 8 channel programmable signal conditioner, the CyberAmp. 
It is more suited to research work.

Both of the above are turn key systems.

National Instruments LabView, on the other hand, is essentially a development
environment. While LabView is very powerful, the effort involved in creating a
complete working program is not trivial. LabView is available for both Windows
and Macs. To use it for physiological purposes it would have to be combined
with a signal conditioner such as the CyberAmp.

If you have some programming experience (in Basic or C) it is also worth 
considering N.I. LabWindows. This a development environment design for
data acquistion with runs under DOS (a version is now available for Windows).
Programmers who are used to procedural languages would probably find
LabWindows more comfortable than LabView which uses a graphical "data flow"
approach to programming. I use LabWindows extensively in the development
of simulations and data acquisition software for teaching undergraduate 

John Dempster
Dept. Physiology & Pharmacology
Strathclyde University,
Glasgow, Scotland

More information about the Bio-soft mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net