How to get started with NEURON
To learn the basics about using NEURON:
Don't forget to join
The NEURON Forum.
To learn how to use NMODL to add new mechanisms to NEURON:
- Read "The NEURON Simulation Environment."
You can download this from
the Documentation page of this WWW site.
- Use the Programmer's Reference early and often.
If you are running NEURON under MSWindows and accepted the default installation,
the Programmer's Reference is already in the NEURON program group--put
a shortcut to it on your desktop.
If you are using MacOS or UNIX, you will have to download it separately
the Documentation page.
If you have a fast Internet connection, you might just prefer to
bookmark the Programmer's Reference on the WWW (see the link on the Documentation page).
- Work through the tutorials on the
- Use the GUI tools as much as possible. You'll get more done, faster, and you won't have to write any code.
Some of the GUI tools are described in the tutorials,
and others are demonstrated in more detail in John Moore's User's Manual (see the
- The GUI tools can also help you learn how to use hoc, NEURON's programming language.
The CellBuilder and Network Builder can export hoc code
that you can examine and reuse to do new things.
You can also save the smaller GUI tools
to session files, which contain reusable hoc statements.
and the list of
publications about NEURON
to find models of interest.
Many authors have deposited their model code in ModelDB,
posted it somewhere else on the WWW, or will provide code upon request.
For courses about NEURON,
see the Courses page.
- First, consider using the ChannelBuilder instead (see the
Documentation page for a tutorial).
This is an extremely powerful GUI tool for specifying voltage- and ligand-gated ionic conductances.
It's much easier to use than NMODL.
Mechanisms specified with the ChannelBuilder actually execute faster
than if they were specified with NMODL.
Also, you can use it to make stochastic channel models.
- If you absolutely must use NMODL (e.g. for ion accumulation mechanisms
or to add new kinds of artificial spiking cells),
read chapters 9 and 10 of The NEURON Book, or at least the articles
"Expanding NEURON's Repertoire of Mechanisms with NMODL"
"Discrete event simulation in the NEURON environment"
(downloadable from the
Publications about NEURON page of this WWW site).
- NEURON comes with a bunch of mod files that can serve as
starting points for "programming by example." Under MSWin the
default mechanisms (hh, pas, expsyn etc.) are in c:\nrn\src\nrnoc
(on my Linux box this is /usr/local/src/nrn-x.x/src/nrnoc ).
A large collection of mod files is in c:\nrn\examples\nrniv\nmodl
(Linux /usr/local/src/nrn-x.x/share/examples/nrniv/nmodl ).
- You may also find useful examples in
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