This is updated to refeclt the current version 3. For earlier version of the documentation download those versions of the software. Simbrain 4 docs will be released at a separate location.

For a guided dive directly into Simbrain, see our youtube channel, and in particular this getting started video. Or try this quickstart.

Simbrain is a tool for building artificial neural networks that has been developed with the philosophy of ease-of-use and intuitive design. We encourage you to simply launch Simbrain and experiment. For in-depth documentation on each aspect of Simbrain follow the links below. Simbrain is open source and uses the GNU license. For credits click here. Note that if you are reading this documentation directly from the Simbrain help menu, that you are reading a local copy that comes packaged with Simbrain; the online copy may have newer information.

Quick Start, Examples, Shortcuts

In addition to the youtube channel and quickstart, here are some examples which show how to do specific things in Simbrain. Especially when buildng networks, keyboard shortcuts are helpful. Here is a list of keyboard shortcuts.


The Simbrain workspace is the encompassing framework which contains all simulation components (networks, worlds, etc.), as well as mechanisms for connecting them together via "couplings", scripting, etc. Other general topics concerning simbrain simulations.


The network component of Simbrain represents a simulated neural circuit. Networks are the core component of a Simbrain simulation. They are built using a simple graphical interface.


Worlds are components that interact with Network components by giving and/or receiving information. The "OdorWorld" shown here simulates a creature's ability to move and smell in a simple two-dimensional world.


Visualize network activity and other data with Bar charts, Pie Charts, Projections, Time Series, and other charts.

Document Viewer

A simple tool for displaying documents in a workspace.


Opens a Simbrain terminal window.


For creating custom simulations, beyond what the built-in GUI tools provide.


Some utilities that are used throughout Simbrain.


How to use Simbrain as a library, without the GUI.