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A platform for high-throughput and reproducible neurophysiology, openly available to run experiments for external scientists.


OpenScope LogoOpenScope is the first astronomical observatory in Neuroscience. Scientists across the world can propose new experiments that will be executed freely on the Allen Brain Observatory pipeline.

  • Record from thousands of neurons across the mouse brain using either multi-probes Neuropixels recordings or multi-area two photon calcium imaging.
  • An end-to-end standardized experimental platform including brain surgery, animal behavioral training, neuronal recordings and brain reconstruction. 
  • All datasets are shared as standardized Neurodata Without Borders (NWB) files in a public archive (DANDI) in the cloud. 
  • A double-blinded yearly application cycle evaluating scientific proposals from the global scientific community.

Learn more

  • The OpenScope platform tests novel hypotheses on brain function using an already established data collection pipeline, potentially accelerating your science.
  • You directly leverage the experience of the Allen Institute teams for your project and scientific questions.
  • Data is curated, standardized and disseminated with open standards, you can focus on pushing data analysis.
  • During the one year embargo period, the application team analyzes the data and leads publication of scientific results with guaranteed first and last authorships.
  • Experimental data is eventually released to the public after a minimum one year embargo from when data collection ends. This can further the impact of your work and lead to additional collaborations and data publications.
  • All datasets collected on the platform are cross-referenced through shared standards and data access, allowing further meta-analysis and comparison by the community.
  • Data sharing is facilitated through the OpenScope Data Portal. This portal is designed to facilitate collaborations.
  • All project can directly leverage a growing ecosystem of pre-written analysis routines in the cloud, available through the OpenScope Databook.  This includes advanced dimensionality reduction analysis like CEBRA as well as basic analysis like stimuli responses analysis.

All projects executed by the OpenScope projects aim to be released first as bioRxiv publication and eventually in a reviewed journal. The application team is empowered to lead this publication and control authorship of these pieces (both first and last-authors).

  1. Mayner, W. G. P. et al. Measuring Stimulus-Evoked Neurophysiological Differentiation in Distinct Populations of Neurons in Mouse Visual Cortex. eNeuro 9, (2022)
  2. Prince, L. Y., Bakhtiari, S., Gillon, C. J. & Richards, B. A. Parallel inference of hierarchical latent dynamics in two-photon calcium imaging of neuronal populations. bioRxiv 2021.03.05.434105 (2021)
  3. Gillon, C. J. et al. Learning from unexpected events in the neocortical microcircuit. bioRxiv 2021.01.15.426915 (2023)
  4. Gillon, C. J. et al. Responses of pyramidal cell somata and apical dendrites in mouse visual cortex over multiple days. Sci Data 10, 287 (2023)
  5. Wyrick, D. G. et al. Differential encoding of temporal context and expectation under representational drift across hierarchically connected areas. bioRxiv 2023.06.02.543483 (2023)
  6. Shin, H. et al. Recurrent pattern completion drives the neocortical representation of sensory inference. bioRxiv 2023.06.05.543698 (2023)

Access to the OpenScope program is available to scientists internationally for free. All experimental work is generously supported by an NIH U24 resource grant (U24 NS113646-01A1) to serve the global scientific community. The Allen Brain Observatory platform was initiated and established in 2016 thanks to funding from The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and the Falconwood Foundation.

The OpenScope program publishes on an annual basis a detailed public report that summarizes all of our activities within the year. These reports highlight all developments of the year : new selected projects, completed projects, publications and technical developments of the platform.

2021 Annual Report

2022 Annual Report



We are available to answer any question! Please do not hesitate to reach out via Drafting a project for our platform is a collaborative process.

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OpenScope: The first shared observatory for neuroscience

Natalie Trzcinski

Program Director, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
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Mackenzie Mathis

Assistant Professor, EPFL
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Satrajit Ghosh

Principal Research Scientist,MIT. Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

Konrad Kording

Professor, University of Pennsylvania

Adrienne Fairhall

Professor, University of Washington

Joel Zylberberg

Assistant Professor, York University

Nicholas A. Steinmetz

Assistant Professor, University of Washington

The OpenScope Steering Committee convenes at least biannually to provide crucial direction for the OpenScope project, playing an essential role in ensuring that we effectively serve our broader community.

Science Programs at Allen Institute