Type: Software,

Keywords: Neuropixels, trajectory planning, web browser, electrophysiology, probes, sensapex, new scale, mouse

Multi-probe planning for Neuropixels using interactive 3D visualization in a web browser

Pinpoint is a Neuropixels trajectory planning tool for acute and chronic recordings. Using an interactive 3D scene, Pinpoint allows researchers to plan multi-probe insertions in an intuitive environment. Users can explore different options for craniotomies and check that insertions will not interfere with other parts of a surgical implant or recording rig. During live recordings, Pinpoint allows you to see where your probes are inside of the mouse brain as you perform your recordings. In the near future, Pinpoint will allow you to automate your experimental setup by controlling probe positions and efficiently preparing probes for insertion according to your predefined experimental plan.

* Pinpoint is an interactive 3D planning tool for Neuropixels probes, that interfaces with electrophysiology manipulators, allowing you to plan and execute your experiments in an intuitive visual environment.

* Pinpoint allows you to plan with up to 16 shanks at the same time, four Neuropixels 2.0 probes, or sixteen 1.0 probes.

* Our 3D environment automatically checks for collisions between your probes and rig parts and helps you visualize and understand the 3D space around your subject’s brain.

* Pinpoint can be linked with Sensapex and New Scale manipulators for visualization during live recordings and for automated probe insertion.

* Pinpoint requires no installation: our planning environment can run on your laptop in your web browser. Head to and check it out now!

* Pinpoint is designed to assist you in planning acute or chronic Neuropixels recordings in mice. After planning your insertions, Pinpoint provides you with surface coordinates relative to a reference coordinate (by default, Bregma) and a set of probe angles that you can use to re-create a planned insertion in the in vivo mouse brain.

* Mouse

* Rat, marmoset, macaque coming soon in 2023

* Runs in a web browser

* Supports up to four 4-shank probes

* Transforms the CCF planning atlas into in vivo space

* Automatically handles collisions with rig parts

* Can be linked to electrophysiology manipulators for probe position echoing or live control

* Currently limited to C57 mouse brain (rat, marmoset, macaque coming soon)

* Electrophysiology manipulator link features limited to Sensapex and New Scale hardware

* Requires a web browser capable of running WebGL 2.0 (Edge 79+, Firefox 51+, Chrome 56+, Safari 15.5+)


Daniel Birman, Postdoctoral Fellow


University of Washington, Seattle, WA



Kenneth Yang, Research Assistant, University of Washington
Nick Steinmetz, Assistant Professor, University of Washington



* Washington Research Foundation
* International Brain Laboratory
* Simons Foundation
* Wellcome Trust
* Brain Initiative U19