by Dr. Alex Kreilinger
Strategic Product Manager (Brain Products)
Brain Products has been a big supporter of LabStreamingLayer (LSL) right from the very beginning. Since then, LSL has become a well-established tool for the EEG research community and beyond. We at Brain Products want to continue and improve our support for this system. One important step in this direction was to provide a venue where interested researchers can easily find all the necessary tools and information.
We know that LSL is a great tool once it is up and running, so we want to provide you with some quick tips on how to get started. As a first step, we make it easy for you to find the most up-to-date tools for your hardware on our own GitHub page. This page serves as the main venue for LSL users who are using Brain Products and will always provide you with the most current versions of LSL connectors for our amplifiers. These LSL connectors are necessary to create LSL streams from signals that are acquired from our amplifiers. On top of that, we share useful tools directly on the page (if open source) or at least provide you with the necessary information to easily find the download links.
At the time of this Press Release, you can find a selection of updated LSL connector applications for our LiveAmp, actiCHamp (Plus), and BrainAmp series. We not only share the source code, but also provide binaries that you can use by simply downloading the right zip file for your operating system and running the extracted exe file. Comprehensive readme files will give you useful information and release notes will show you what changed between versions. Since LSL is constantly evolving, there may also be beta releases that you are welcome to try with the appropriate caution. The readme files should give you a good idea of how to use the LSL connectors in your experiment, but you can always find more information on related websites, such as the LSL documentation page.
Another benefit of having everything LSL-related in one place is that we can add useful little tools that you may find interesting. One example is the Python-based tool BVEF2LSLconfig that allows you to merge the information from the LSL connector’s config file and from an electrodes position file (.bvef, BrainVision Electrode Format). These files include information on channel names and positions for the cap you are using, and the tool can be used instead of entering all the channel labels by hand. Of course, you still have the option of entering the channel names in the LSL connectors or, since all the new LSL connectors save their configuration in human readable config files, you can also edit these and change the names there.
On our GitHub page you will also find the source code for the BV2BIDS tool, which creates the brain imaging data structure (BIDS) folder hierarchy from BrainVision core data format and was already introduced here. Recently, we even added an LSL viewer to our free downloads that should be very interesting for any LSL experiment that involves at least one regular data stream. Please check out the dedicated article for more information about the BrainVision LSL Viewer.