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About hc-8

Information about the hc-8 data set.


These data contain a record of neuron spiking activity in rat hippocampal dissociated cultures. The recordings were performed for days in vitro (DIV) 6 through 35 with all cultures being recorded multiple times throughout development. The recordings were performed with a large multielectrode array (Multichannel Systems, square lattice, 60 electrodes, 200 μm interelectrode spacing, 30 μm electrode diameter, flat electrodes). The cultures were not stimulated, so these data represent spontaneous activity. In total, 435 recordings are provided, most of which possess about one hundred neurons (min: 3, max: 142, mean: 91, total: 39,529). The average firing rate of the neurons was 1.9 Hz. The data were binned at 20 kHz and are presented in units of bins (0.05 ms). The lengths of the recordings were approximately 1 hour.

Details about the recording method and results from these data are described in:

N. M. Timme, N. Marshall, N. Bennett, M. Ripp, E. Lautzenhiser, and J. M. Beggs, Criticality maximizes complexity in neural tissue, Frontiers in Physiology, 7 (425): 2016. DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2016.00425

Format of the data

All data are stored as Matlab files using standard Matlab structures. Total size of the data is about 850 MB (compressed). Details of the data and format are given in the data description document, linked to at the bottom of this page.

How to download the data

Data may be downloaded from:
A account is required. See the download link for more instructions.

Getting help using the data.

If you have questions about using the data, post them on the forum for using data sets.

How to cite the data

Before you publish any work using these data, we ask that you first consult the authors. Furthermore, please cite the publication given above (Timme, N.M., et al. 2016) as this paper describes the experimental methods. Finally, please cite the data set in the following recommended format:

Nicholas M. Timme, Najja Marshall, Nicholas Bennett, Monica Ripp, Edward Lautzenhiser, and John M. Beggs (2016); Spontaneous spiking activity of thousands of neurons in rat hippocampal dissociated cultures.

The above citation uses a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) which is assigned to the data set.  The DOI was created using DataCite ( and the California Digital Library, "EZID" system (

Documentation files


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