MATLAB for Neuroscientists

1st Edition

An Introduction to Scientific Computing in MATLAB

Authors: Pascal Wallisch Michael Lusignan Marc Benayoun Tanya Baker Adam Dickey Nicholas Hatsopoulos
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123745514
eBook ISBN: 9780080923284
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 29th October 2008
Page Count: 400
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This is the first comprehensive teaching resource and textbook for the teaching of MATLAB in the Neurosciences and in Psychology. MATLAB is unique in that it can be used to learn the entire empirical and experimental process, including stimulus generation, experimental control, data collection, data analysis and modeling. Thus a wide variety of computational problems can be addressed in a single programming environment. The idea is to empower advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students by allowing them to design and implement their own analytical tools. As students advance in their research careers, they will have achieved the fluency required to understand and adapt more specialized tools as opposed to treating them as "black boxes".

Virtually all computational approaches in the book are covered by using genuine experimental data that are either collected as part of the lab project or were collected in the labs of the authors, providing the casual student with the look and feel of real data. In some cases, published data from classical papers are used to illustrate important concepts, giving students a computational understanding of critically important research.

Key Features

  • The first comprehensive textbook on MATLAB with a focus for its application in neuroscience
  • Problem based educational approach with many examples from neuroscience and cognitive psychology using real data
  • Authors are award-winning educators with strong teaching experience


Undergraduate and graduate students in systems, cognitive, and behavioral neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and related fields, as well as researchers in these fields who use Matlab.

Table of Contents


Part I: Fundamentals Introduction Tutorial

Part II: Data Collection with Matlab Visual Search and Pop Out Attention Psychophysics Signal Detection Theory

Part III: Data Analysis with Matlab Frequency Analysis Part I Frequency Analysis Part II: Non-stationary Signals and Spectrograms Wavelets Convolution Introduction to Phase Plane Analysis Exploring the Fitzhugh-Nagumo Model Neural Data Analysis: Encoding Principal Components Analysis Information Theory Neural Decoding: Discrete variables Neural Decoding: Continuous variables Functional Magnetic Imaging

Part IV: Data Modeling with Matlab Voltage-Gated Ion Channels Models of a Single Neuron Models of the Retina Simplified Models of Spiking Neurons Fitzhugh-Nagumo Model: Traveling Waves Decision Theory Markov Model Modeling Spike Trains as a Poisson Process Synaptic Transmission Neural Networks: Unsupervised learning Neural Network: Supervised Learning

Appendices Appendix 1: Thinking in Matlab Appendix 2: Linear Algebra Review


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© Academic Press 2009
Academic Press
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About the Author

Pascal Wallisch

Pascal Wallisch received his PhD from the University of Chicago, did postdoctoral work at the Center for Neural Science at New York University, and currently serves as a clinical assistant professor of Psychology at New York University. His research interests are at the intersection of Psychology and Neuroscience, specifically Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience. His current work focuses on motion perception, autism and the appraisal of film.

Affiliations and Expertise

New York University, NY, USA

Michael Lusignan

Affiliations and Expertise

The University of Chicago, IL, USA

Marc Benayoun

Affiliations and Expertise

The University of Chicago, IL, USA

Tanya Baker

Affiliations and Expertise

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA, USA

Adam Dickey

Affiliations and Expertise

The University of Chicago, IL, USA

Nicholas Hatsopoulos

Affiliations and Expertise

The University of Chicago, IL, USA


“The book is clear, cogent, and systematic. It provides much more than the essential nuts-and-bolts—it also leads the reader to learn to think about the empirical enterprise writ large...This book should be given a privileged spot on the bookshelf of every teacher, student, and researcher in the behavioral and cognitive sciences.” — Stephen M. Kosslyn, John Lindsley Professor of Psychology, Dean of Social Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA “This is an excellent book that should be on the desk of any neuroscientist or psychologist who wants to analyze and understand his or her own data by using MATLAB...Several books with MATLAB toolboxes exist; I find this one special both for its clarity and its focus on problems related to neuroscience and cognitive psychology.” — Nikos Logothetis, Director, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany “MATLAB for Neuroscientists provides a unique and relatively comprehensive introduction to the MATLAB programming language in the context of brain sciences...The book would work well as a supplementary source for an introductory coursein computational analysis and modeling in visual neuroscience, for graduate students or advanced undergraduates.” — Eero P. Simoncelli, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Professor, Neural Science, Mathematics, and Psychology, New York University, New York, USA