MATLAB for Neuroscience

Neuroscientists use MATLAB® to process and analyze their data, drive their experiments, and simulate models of brain circuits. With MATLAB, you can:

  • Analyze neural time-series data from electrode signal recordings
  • Understand structural and functional image data from neuroimaging and microscopy studies
  • Use machine and deep learning to classify, predict, and cluster using models trained with neuroscience data
  • Process and generate live data streams, including brain-computer interface (BCI) and behavioral control systems
  • Create and share interactive neuroscience data stories

“MATLAB is... a way of thinking, a language that cuts across countries, and a way of sharing and collaborating with other scientists…”

Mike X. Cohen, "MATLAB for Brain and Cognitive Scientists"

Using MATLAB for Neuroscience

Computational and Experimental Studies

Neuroscientists turn to MATLAB for a range of use cases

  • MATLAB is used to analyze structural, functional, and simulated neural data at all scales, from individual synapses to the whole brain. 
  • Experimental neuroscientists use MATLAB and Simulink to control experiments, including behavioral tasks, psychophysical data streams, and live control loops such as brain-computer interface (BCI) systems.  
  • Computational neuroscientists use MATLAB to simulate neurons and brain circuits, uncovering basic principles and helping to explain and design experiments.

Explore MATLAB resources and recent features for neuroscience applications.


Community and Third-Party Support

Neuroscientists using MATLAB can access a rich library of freely-shared tools built by and for researchers. Additionally, there is a vibrant market of professionally supported third-party products that complement MATLAB, including devices, instruments, application software, cloud platforms, and other research tools.

  • Browse the File Exchange to find community toolboxes and apps for various categories of neuroscience. Use the Add-On Explorer to easily install tools into MATLAB. 
  • Explore third-party products for neuroscience with supported MATLAB integrations in the Connections partner directory.


Neuroscience Training

MATLAB enables undergraduate and graduate students to easily ramp up on data and coding skills for their neuroscience coursework and research: 

  • Learn the basics of MATLAB with self-paced courses, getting-started documentation, and other resources.
  • Complete lessons, homework, and reproducible research using interactive Live Editor documents shareable via MATLAB Online
  • Browse a library of neuroscience books, including MATLAB code and instruction, aimed at various levels and areas.
  • Use MATLAB to teach coding and data skills at neuroscience short courses, boot camps, and workshops. Please contact us to discuss options for your event.  

Learn more about teaching neuroscience and psychology.

Read About Real-World Use Cases

Explore how MATLAB is used for neuroscience applications.