ELAN: a software package for analysis and visualization of MEG, EEG, and LFP signals

Comput Intell Neurosci. 2011;2011:158970. doi: 10.1155/2011/158970. Epub 2011 Apr 20.


The recent surge in computational power has led to extensive methodological developments and advanced signal processing techniques that play a pivotal role in neuroscience. In particular, the field of brain signal analysis has witnessed a strong trend towards multidimensional analysis of large data sets, for example, single-trial time-frequency analysis of high spatiotemporal resolution recordings. Here, we describe the freely available ELAN software package which provides a wide range of signal analysis tools for electrophysiological data including scalp electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG), intracranial EEG, and local field potentials (LFPs). The ELAN toolbox is based on 25 years of methodological developments at the Brain Dynamics and Cognition Laboratory in Lyon and was used in many papers including the very first studies of time-frequency analysis of EEG data exploring evoked and induced oscillatory activities in humans. This paper provides an overview of the concepts and functionalities of ELAN, highlights its specificities, and describes its complementarity and interoperability with other toolboxes.

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Brain Waves / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetoencephalography*
  • Software*
  • Time Factors