Line scan and continuous resonant modes

The latest version of Scanbox includes two new features requested by users.  These appear are small toggle buttons on the left within the Scanner panel.


The button on the bottom right of the panel is already known to you — it allows you to toggle between Unidirectional and Bidirectional scanning modes.  The letter shown in the button indicates the current mode.

The middle button is new and allows you to toggle between Normal and Continuous Resonant modes.  The normal mode is the one you have been using so far.  Scanbox stops the resonant mirror between imaging sessions and requires 2-3 seconds at the beginning of each session to “warm up” before scanning can start. The new continuous version allows you to turn the resonant mirror and leave it on.  One advantage is that you can start your scanning right away and there is no warm-up period.  A second advantage is that there is no auditory cue triggered by the resonant mirror that may affect behavior at the beginning of the trial.  One disadvantage is that you can expect the lifetime of the mirror be reduced by the increase usage.

The top button at the top toggles between Area and Line Scan modes.  Area mode is what you have been using up to now.  In line-scan mode scanbox fixes the position of the galvo to be that of the middle of the image (y-axis).  To perform a line scan simply position the line of interest in the middle of the frame and then switch to line scan mode.  The image that will be displayed will now consist of space on the horizontal (resonant) axis and time in the vertical axis. The number of lines/frame is not really relevant any more (as all lines are the same) but for reasons that I will explain later please use a value > 256.

(Real estate in the Scanbox panels is slowly becoming tight — we will likely switch to tabbed panels soon to be able to use more meaningful labels across the various panels.)