Nov. 30, 2021

New in eNEURO: Web-based application facilitates use of advanced simulation tool NEST


NEST Desktop has been presented to the scientific community in a publication in eNeuro, the open access journal of the American Society for Neuroscience.

Simulators for spiking neural network models are increasingly used in brain research. They enable scientists to run models of information processing, learning, plasticity, and more.

These simulation tools are very powerful but not always easy to use. They typically require prior knowledge of a programming language and are difficult to install. These requirements often exclude students and early career researchers from using the simulators.

NEST Desktop was developed to help overcome these barriers to entry. The web-based application for the NEST Simulator allows users to rapidly construct neuronal network models on their laptop. NEST Desktop features an intuitive graphical user interface which helps users without programming skills to get started more easily. The application can be used in an internet browser, so no installation is necessary.

The graphical user interface of NEST Desktop. Credit: Claudia Duppé and Sebastian Spreizer

The simplicity and accessibility of the application make it an ideal tool for teaching purposes. “NEST Desktop is intuitive, fast, and user-friendly”, explains Sebastian Spreizer from the University of Trier. “Universities from Norway, Italy and Bulgaria are considering NEST Desktop for different courses.” NEST Desktop is now freely available as an online tool on the EBRAINS research infrastructure, contributing to equal opportunities for students and early career researchers.

Read the full paper in eNeuro:

NEST Desktop - An educational application for neuroscience

Learn more about NEST:

EBRAINS shares access to improved laptop-to-supercomputer brain simulator

Enabling optimised brain simulation for all