In research, simulation acts as the main conduit for interchange between experiment and theory. It is a powerful instrument in our endeavour to understand the human brain, which is a complex dynamic system with a multi-scale architecture, further complicated by significant differences between one person’s brain and another’s. The complexity and versatility of the brain, and the variations from one brain to another, are major scientific challenges, driving the development of simulation technology

Neuroscientists have different views on how to best tackle the intricacy of complex systems.

Neuroscientists have different views on how to best tackle the intricacy of such complex systems, advocating approaches that range from holistic to minimalistic, from the notion that only realistic models can account for the inner workings of our brains, to the assumption that only systematic model simplification will allow us to uncover fundamental principles. Likewise, brain models differ in size, complexity and level of detail. EBRAINS Simulation services offer technical solutions for brain researchers to conduct sustainable simulation studies and build upon prior work, and the means to share their results. The services provide integrated workflows for model creation, simulation and validation, including data analysis and visualisation. The simulation engines cover the entire spectrum of levels of description ranging from cellular to network to whole brain level.



    • Simulation, Brain-Inspired Technologies

    Neuromorphic Computing

    Simulate or emulate spiking neural networks with neuromorphic compute systems
    • Simulation, Brain-Inspired Technologies

    Neurorobotics Platform

    Simulating intelligent agents within realistic environments
    • Simulation


    Create, navigate, explore and interact with schematic representations of neurons and circuits
    • Simulation


    Visualise neural anatomy in great detail
    • Simulation


    Study simulation data and their associated spatial and temporal features by exploratory visual analysis
    • Simulation


    High-performance library for computational neuroscience simulations, ranging from single-cell models to large networks
    • Simulation


    Analyse the neuronal dynamics of experiments and brain simulations with this Electrophysiology Analysis Toolkit
    • Simulation

    NEST Desktop

    Construct neuronal networks and explore network dynamics with the NEST Simulator GUI
    • Simulation

    NEST Simulator

    A simulator for spiking neural network models of any size
    • Simulation


    A domain-specific language to write custom neuron models
    • Simulation

    The Virtual Brain

    Create personalised brain models and simulate multi-scale networks
    • Simulation, Brain-Inspired Technologies


    A simulator-independent language for building neuronal network models
    • Simulation

    Interactive Workflows for Cellular Level Modeling

    Build, reconstruct, and simulate data-driven brain models
    • Simulation


    A simulator for modelling individual neurons and networks of neurons


    Leverage your neuron morphologies and experimental data to create microcircuits with realistic connectivity


2021, Q2

PyNN represented on EBRAINS

Releases of NEST 3.0 and accompanying Education Frontend (NEST Desktop 3.0), and of NESTML 4.0 with ODE-toolbox 2.3

2021, Q3

Molecular and subcellular level simulation tools and services represented on EBRAINS

First use-case workflow for co-simulation using the standardized framework on local machines

Release of the first version of the visualization framework’s documentation including a description of an example curricula for the Education Frontend (NEST Desktop)

Release of PyNN 0.10.0 supporting NEST 3.0 and NEURON 8.0

Complete migration of BSP use cases to the cellular level simulation workflows and use cases page on EBRAINS

2021, Q4

Co-simulation services represented on EBRAINS, and HPC-deployed use case for co-simulation using standard framework available

Release of the second version of the visualization framework’s documentation

Alpha version of NRP and co-simulation workflow available

Improved cellular level simulation workflows and use cases to take into account user requests

Finalized workflow ensuring that all parts of NEST documentation are complete

2022, Q2

Support for third-factor learning rules in NESTML

Releases of PyNN 1.0.0 (stable API) and Elephant 1.0 (stable API and visualization)

Upgraded cellular level simulation workflows and use cases for interaction with EBRAINS

Initial integration of TVB with the data representation and communications standard for simulation defined in EBRAINS for co-simulation on HPC

2022, Q3

Release of the visualization framework with documentation including tutorials and integration into EBRAINS

Common user-level documentation for data analysis and model-validation components available

2022, Q4

Simulation and analysis workflows for each simulation scale and co-simulation, including integration in EBRAINS infrastructure, documentation, validation, visualization where appropriate, integration testing and user support workflows

Completed use-case based validation of visualization framework

2023, Q1

NESTML supporting SpiNNaker platform code generation

Release of PyNN 2.0.0 supporting multi-compartmental modelling with NEURON and Arbor

Two-way translation and control module ready for neural mass to point-neuron models

Access all EBRAINS services