2020 Neuropixels Workshop

The Allen Institute has been monitoring the international health guidance and forecasts for COVID-19. The safety of our staff and event attendees is of the highest concern to us. Consequently, we have made the decision to postpone the Neuropixels Workshop from June 2020 to January 2021. Applications for virtual attendance are now closed.

Neuropixels probes represent a major advance in neural recording technology. Developed by IMEC in collaboration with the Allen Institute, University College London, and Janelia Research Campus, these probes can simultaneously measure spiking activity from hundreds of neurons distributed across the brain. Neuropixels are currently available to order through and are described in our publication in Nature.

At this workshop, attendees will learn how to run acute electrophysiology experiments with Neuropixels probes and how to analyze the data using open-source software.


01/14/2021 to 01/15/2021

The workshop will consist of both interactive seminars and hands-on training sessions, with the goal of teaching you the skills required to set up Neuropixels experiments in your lab. Emphasis will be placed on multi-probe recordings, which take advantage of the unique capabilities of Neuropixels technology.

Due to the hands-on nature of the workshop, we will be limiting the number of participants to 20. We are eager to host a diverse audience, and we encourage both trainees and bench scientists to apply. Prior experience with electrophysiology is assumed, as we will not be going into the details of surgical techniques. Applicants do not need to have previously used or have placed an order for Neuropixels probes in order to attend.

Applications for virtual attendance in January 2021 are now closed.

Workshop Topics

Neuropixels Hardware

  • What tools you’ll need to buy to use Neuropixels in your lab
  • Best practices for handling and maintenance
  • Probe alignment and insertion



  • Data acquisition with Open Ephys and SpikeGLX
  • Spike sorting with Kilosort and phy
  • NWB files and the AllenSDK

Draft Schedule

Thursday, June 18, 2020


Registration and breakfast (provided)


Past, present, and future of Neuropixels probes


Overview of Neuropixels hardware


Unboxing, handling, and connecting probes


Lunch (provided)


Rotate through hands-on training sessions:
- Mounting and aligning probes
- Brain stabilization and grounding
- Live demonstration of probe use and data collection


Dinner (provided) and roundtable discussion on Neuropixels experiments


Friday, June 19, 2020


Breakfast (provided)


Overview of Neuropixels software


Spike sorting with Kilosort and phy


Lunch (provided)


Rotate through hands-on training sessions:
- Building plugins for Open Ephys
- NWB files and basic Neuropixels data analysis
- Probe insertion planning and anatomical registration