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NWB Workshops and Hackathons

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NWB Conversion Tools + Breakout

Key Investigators

Project Description

Develop NWB Conversion Tools, a library for automatic conversion from a large variety of neurophysiology data formats to NWB.


  1. Inform the community about the project: scope, goals, features, etc.
  2. Solicit bug reports and feature requests
  3. Recruit contributors

Approach and Plan

  1. Begin with simple tutorial demonstrating currently support conversion types
  2. Go into more detail about each step of the tutorial and interface
  3. Overview of future directions
  4. Contribution guidelines
  5. Breakout into open discussion

Progress and Next Steps

Before: created generic classes for an NWBConverter class object reliant on modular DataInterface classes (one for each format/type). Added DataInterfaces for several spikeextractors and roiextractors formats, as well as a custom DataInterface for Movie objects (currently on dev branch add_movie_interface)

During: Gave presentation on origins and use of the NWB conversion tools, as well as supported features and future directions. Went through notebook tutorials demonstrating the current capabilities and then opened to general discussion. Discussion focused on how to make the process not just automated, but code-independent so that non-programmers could easily specify the data formats they wanted to import and run the full conversion pipeline without ever interacting with python itself.

After: Began draft work and design stages of dynamic class construction from yaml files as well as a folder path iteration based on semantic structure specified by the user in order to run a full conversion over a directory without having to iterate over individual file paths.


pip install -U nwb-conversion-tools from a python environment or notebook Tutorials: https://github.com/catalystneuro/nwb-conversion-tools/tree/add_tutorials

Background and References

Source code: https://github.com/catalystneuro/nwb-conversion-tools (in development) Documentation: https://nwb-conversion-tools.readthedocs.io/en/conversion_guide/ (in development) Test data (some, not all): https://gin.g-node.org/NeuralEnsemble/ephy_testing_data, https://gin.g-node.org/CatalystNeuro/ophys_testing_data