This article is part of the Research Topic Python in neuroscience

Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Neuroinform., 18 November 2008 | doi: 10.3389/neuro.11.005.2008

Brian: a simulator for spiking neural networks in Python

Département d’Informatique, École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France
“Brian” is a new simulator for spiking neural networks, written in Python ( ). It is an intuitive and highly flexible tool for rapidly developing new models, especially networks of single-compartment neurons. In addition to using standard types of neuron models, users can define models by writing arbitrary differential equations in ordinary mathematical notation. Python scientific libraries can also be used for defining models and analysing data. Vectorisation techniques allow efficient simulations despite the overheads of an interpreted language. Brian will be especially valuable for working on non-standard neuron models not easily covered by existing software, and as an alternative to using Matlab or C for simulations. With its easy and intuitive syntax, Brian is also very well suited for teaching computational neuroscience.
Python, spiking neurons, simulation, integrate and fire, teaching, neural networks, computational neuroscience, software
Goodman D and Brette R (2008). Brian: a simulator for spiking neural networks in Python. Front. Neuroinform. 2:5. doi: 10.3389/neuro.11.005.2008
11 September 2008;
 Paper pending published:
30 September 2008;
26 October 2008;
 Published online:
18 November 2008.

Edited by:

Rolf Kötter, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands Antilles

Reviewed by:

Robert C. Cannon, Textensor Limited, UK
Markus Diesmann, RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Japan
© 2008 Goodman and Brette. This is an open-access article subject to an exclusive license agreement between the authors and the Frontiers Research Foundation, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original authors and source are credited.
Dan Goodman, Equipe Audition, Département d’Etudes Cognitives, Ecole Normale Supérieure, 29 rue d’Ulm, 75230 Paris Cedex 05, France. e mail:
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