Florida Research Open-source Synchronization Tool (FROST) for electrophysiology experiments

Congratulations to Jose D.Alcantara, Robert S.Eisinger, EnricoOpri, MadisonKelberman, Jackson N.Cagle, JuliethGomez, Kelly D.Foote, Michael S.Okun, and AysegulGunduz on the publication of “Florida Research Open-source Synchronization Tool (FROST) for electrophysiology experiments,” which can be found in the June 1, 2020 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience Methods.


  • Neuroscientific electrophysiology experiments often require alignment of many sources of data.
  • FROST is a device that provides an open-source, Arduino-based solution to this common problem.
  • This new tool is designed to be compatible with numerous experimental research devices.
  • We provide two examples of data acquired using FROST.
  • FROST is easily customizable and scalable for specific research needs.



Accurate interpretation of electrophysiological data in cognitive and behavioral experiments requires the acquisition of time labels, such as marking the exact start of a condition or moment a stimulus is presented to a research subject.

New Method

Here we present an inexpensive (∼30 USD) device used as a central relay for multiple peripheral devices, such as a computer screen presenting an experiment, a pressure-sensor push button, a multi-button responder, a pulse oximeter sensor, a light-emitting diode trigger for camera synchronization, and so on. We refer to this device as the Florida Research Open-source Synchronization Tool (FROST). FROST allows for easy hardware and Arduino-based firmware modifications that enable a standard platform for the integration of novel peripheral sensors.


With two examples, we demonstrate the application of this device during human research experiments: intracranial-electroencephalography (EEG) recordings in a patient with epilepsy and surface-EEG recordings in a healthy participant. We provide an example setup for a rodent experiment as well. We also demonstrate the timing delays of our device.

Comparison with existing methods

There is currently a very limited number of existing open-source synchronization tools for electrophysiological research that enable customization with new device compatibility. We developed this tool to enable widespread replication for many applications through an open-source platform.


The device can be easily adapted for research experiments beyond the included example cases. All materials are open-source at github.com/Brain-Mapping-Lab/FROST.