About EMSE

Software to measure, describe and visualize human brain dynamics.

EMSE is a suite of advanced, powerful, and useable software tools to measure, describe, and visualize human brain dynamics, used worldwide for research in neuroscience, neurotechnology, and clinical neurophysiology. We specialize in multimodal source estimation techniques, enabling the researcher to combine EEG and MRI datasets to better answer where things are happening in the brain, and when things change.

Conventional neuroimaging (for example magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI) can answer the where question, but not the when question. Electroencephalography (EEG) and the closely allied Event-Related Potentials (ERP’s) can tell you when something happened with an accuracy of thousandths of a second, but isn’t very good at the where questions. EMSE combines MRI and EEG to answer both when and where in a way that neither method can answer alone. We call this process multimodal dynamic functional brain imaging or source estimation.

EMSE Suite is offered as a scalable desktop application at three levels:

  1. Data Editor+ is a tool for sensor space
    preprocessing of EEG and MEG raw data (with task-related events and intervals) for time, frequency, and
    time-frequency analyses, including nonparametric statistical tests.
  2. EMSE Source Standard performs various inverse solutions using FEM standard head models (in MNI space) for researchers without
    individual MRIs.
  3. EMSE Source MRI constructs individualized BEM and FEM models that map to and from standard MNI space.

EMSE License Levels

EMSE Data Editor 300x300

Data Editor +

Data Editor + The EMSE Suite DATA EDITOR + module may be used as a standalone program to view, analyze, filter, and transform EEG and MEG time series data, and to select intervals or events for further analyses, including event-related potentials, power spectral densities, and time-frequency analysis. DATA EDITOR + includes tools for automation, signal…

EMSE Source Standard - small

EMSE Source Standard

EMSE Source Standard EMSE Source Standard includes all of the functionality of EMSE Data Editor + as well as the ability to perform various inverse solutions using FEM standard head models (in MNI space) without the need for individual MRIs for each participant. EMSE SOURCE STANDARD may be used for discrete or distributed dipole source analysis…

EMSE Source MRI - 300x300


EMSE Source MRI EMSE Source MRI includes all of the functionality of EMSE Data Editor + as well as the ability to perform various inverse solutions using individualized BEM, FEM and spherical head models (in individualized coordinates or MNI space). EMSE Source MRI includes all of the functionality needed to read and segment individual MRI,…

EMSE Locator 300x300

EMSE Locator

Locator When used together with Polhemus digitizing hardware, LOCATOR allows you to measure accurately electrode locations an external head shape in 3 dimensions. These data may then be used for MRI coregistration and more accurate source estimation. LOCATOR currently supports two Polhemus products: FASTRAK and PATRIOT. Functionality 3D Digitization Electrode locations may be determined by…

Signal Processing

  • Basic and advanced preprocessing
    • IIR and FIR time-domain filtering
    • Digital re-referencing
    • Polynomial detrending
    • Artifact rejection or removal using ICA, spatial filtering, or legacy methods
  • Time, frequency, and time-frequency signal analysis
  • Template matching
  • Manual copy/paste steps in interactive mode or create scripts for programmatic automation

3D Mapping

  • Create maps on realistic standardized or individual head surfaces
  • Map voltages, currents, magnitude over frequency ranges, time-frequency bins, statistical p levels, r levels, and more
  • Utilize standardized electrode positions or incorporate individually measured electrode positions

Image Processing

  • Import individual MRI slices or utilize standard volumetric image sets.
  • Segmentation Wizard automates tissue classification.
  • Brain Extraction Tool (BET) is an automated algorithm for finding the brain within a volumetric dataset.
  • Hidden Markov random field algorithm automates cortical tissue classification into disjoint regions (e.g., CSF, gray matter, white matter).
  • Inner/Outer Skull and Scalp Wizards complete the picture, enabling you to generate a complete finite element model for the MR volume.

Multimodal Integration

  • Combine EEG / MEG + MRI + electrode positions
  • Create head model from individual MRI or use a standardized model
  • Visualize source reconstruction results in the context of the selected MRI image set

Quick Demo Videos of EMSE Suite Functionality

For a complete list of full-length instructional videos, visit the EMSE Suite playlist.


EMSE EEG / MEG analysis software (8)

EMSE’s Development Plan emerges from three main streams. First, we listen to your needs and requests (e.g., you might show us what you want during a remote technical/scientific support session). Second, we periodically update and upgrade existing features (e.g., update of boundary element head models; upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit code). Third, we’re envisioning an integrative role for EMSE in the larger field of human neurophysiology and neuroimaging, so that: (a) EMSE shall perform live analysis and automatic archiving during data acquisition; and (b) EMSE shall cooperate with other tools in an ecosystem based on FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) principles.

EMSE is developed by Cortech Solutions. We are an agile team with more than 50 years combined experience in the field. Principal developers are Mark Pflieger and Li Gao, who have worked on the EMSE project for 17+ years and 21+ years, respectively. Richard Greenblatt initiated the EMSE project in the early 1990s with roots from the MEG community.

EMSE reads all major research EEG and MEG data formats.

No. EMSE is a self-contained graphical program written in C++ “under the hood” for efficiency. To optimize the speed of standard matrix and math operations, EMSE leverages the Intel® Math Kernel Library.

No, EMSE is modular. The ERP Bundle (Data Editor plus Visualizer) is a powerful and affordable package for discovering and confirming space-time-frequency phenomena at the scalp level, with integrated nonparametric statistics. The Basic Source Estimation Bundle adds the Source Estimator module for brain level modeling. The Locator module digitizes electrode locations, which may be co-registered with MRI using MR Viewer. The Image Processor module can segment head tissues for constructing individual cortex and volume conductor models.

If EEG/ERP is a new addition to your lab, you can use EMSE to rapidly master all of the steps that can lead you to discover and visualize new phenomena in your experimental data. Have you already identified phenomena at the scalp? Then you can use source reconstruction and source signal estimation tools in EMSE to understand where and when these phenomena arise in the cortex. Going further, if you have participant MRIs, then you can use EMSE to sort out meaningful individual differences from incidental differences that derive from personal cortical folding patterns. In all cases, we can remotely assist with the steps.

EMSE is great for helping you, first, to identify robust space-time-frequency phenomena in your EEG or MEG data, and then to interpret those phenomena in brain space by constructing source models, by estimating regional activity, and by deriving inter-regional connectivities. EMSE can use MRI data to construct realistic volume conductor models of the head. Importantly, EMSE reproducibly automates and documents your analysis workflows, including: (a) signal processing pipelines; (b) experimental event logic pipelines; (c) event-related component measurements; and (d) nonparametric statistical hypothesis testing. EMSE is a professionally supported Windows application. We can remotely assist your data analysis process.

EMSE stands for ElectroMagnetic Source Estimation (and we say “MC”).


EMSE Suite Version 6.4

EMSE Suite 6.4 Now Fully 64-Bit: Virtually Unlimited Addressable Memory for Larger Datasets

January 3, 2023

EMSE 6.4 is the current stable release of our flagship EEG and MEG signal processing and source estimation software platform.

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EMSE Scripting Engine

EMSE Scripting Engine Service

October 1, 2015

We are pleased to announce the EMSE Scripting Engine, new functionality built-into the latest release…

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EMSE Banner

Cortech Welcomes EMSE and Dr. Mark Pflieger

February 1, 2015

WILMINGTON, N.C. (February 1, 2015) — Cortech Solutions, Inc. of  Wilmington, NC and Source Signal…

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