MATLAB for Neuroscientists serves as the only complete study manual and teaching resource for MATLAB, the globally accepted standard for scientific computing, in the neurosciences and psychology. This unique introduction can be used to learn the entire empirical and experimental process (including stimulus generation, experimental control, data collection, data analysis, modeling, and more), and the 2nd Edition continues to ensure that a wide variety of computational problems can be addressed in a single programming environment.

This updated edition features additional material on the creation of visual stimuli, advanced psychophysics, analysis of LFP data, choice probabilities, synchrony, and advanced spectral analysis. Users at a variety of levels—advanced undergraduates, beginning graduate students, and researchers looking to modernize their skills—will learn to design and implement their own analytical tools, and gain the fluency required to meet the computational needs of neuroscience practitioners.

Key Features

  • The first complete volume on MATLAB focusing on neuroscience and psychology applications
  • Problem-based approach with many examples from neuroscience and cognitive psychology using real data
  • Illustrated in full color throughout
  • Careful tutorial approach, by authors who 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

Preface to the Second Edition

Preface to the First Edition

About the Authors

How to Use this Book

Structural and Conceptual Considerations

Layout and Style

Companion Web Site

Part I: Fundamentals

Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. MATLAB Tutorial

2.1 Goal of this Chapter

2.2 Purpose and Philosophy of MATLAB

2.3 Graphics and Visualization

2.4 Function and Scripts

2.5 Data Analysis

2.6 A Word on Function Handles

2.7 The Function Browser

2.8 Summary

MATLAB Functions, Commands, and Operators Covered in This Chapter

Chapter 3. Mathematics and Statistics Tutorial

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Linear Algebra

3.3 Probability and Statistics

MATLAB Functions, Commands, and Operators Covered in This Chapter

Chapter 4. Programming Tutorial: Principles and Best Practices

4.1 Goals of this Chapter

4.2 Organizing Code

4.3 Organizing More Code: Bigger Projects

4.4 Taming Errors

MATLAB Functions, Commands, and Operators Covered in This Chapter

Chapter 5. Visualization and Documentation Tutorial

5.1 Goals of This Chapter

5.2 Visualization

5.3 Documentation

MATLAB Functions, Commands, and Operators Covered in This Chapter

Part II: Data Collection with MATLAB

Chapter 6. Collecting Reaction Times I: Visual Search and Pop Out

6.1 Goals of this Chapter

6.2 Background

6.3 Exercises

6.4 Project

MATLAB Functions, Commands, and Operators Covered in this Chapter

Chapter 7. Collecting Reaction Times II: Attention

7.1 Goals of this Chapter

7.2 Background

7.3 Exercises

7.4 Project

MATLAB Functions, Commands, and Operators Covered in this Chapter

Chapter 8. Psychophysics

8.1 Goals of this Chapter

8.2 Background


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© 2014
Academic Press
Electronic ISBN:
Print ISBN:

About the authors

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.


"...a handy resource for instructors of neuroscience, particularly those interested in more intense data analysis and/or neural modeling."

“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 course in 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