The Virtual Electrode Recording Tool for EXtracellular potentials (VERTEX) is a Matlab tool for simulating extracellular potential recordings in spiking neural network (SNN) models. It uses the forward modelling approach described previously in [1] to calculate extracellular potentials in a model given the position of the neurons relative to the virtual electrodes.

VERTEX is designed to facilitate the simulation of extracellular potentials generated by activity in SNNs; in particular, spatially-organised networks containing thousands or hundreds of thousands of neurons. VERTEX’s interface and model specification options were designed with this particular task in mind. It is therefore less flexible than other neural simulators, but the limited scope has allowed us to simplify the user interface so that a simulation can be specified simply by setting some parameters and run using a few function calls.

VERTEX is written purely in Matlab*, and requires no special installation: just download the files, add the VERTEX folder to your Matlab path, and you can start simulating.

VERTEX is described further in the publication:

Tomsett RJ, Ainsworth M, Thiele A, Sanayei M, Chen X et al. (2014) Virtual Electrode Recording Tool for EXtracellular potentials (VERTEX): comparing multi-electrode recordings from simulated and biological mammalian cortical tissue, Brain Structure and Function. doi:10.1007/s00429-014-0793-x

This web-site contains several tutorials to help you get up-and-running.


[1] Pettersen KH, Lindén H, Dale AM, Einevoll GT (2012) Extracellular spikes and current-source density. In: Brette R, Destexhe A (eds) Handbook of Neural Activity Measurement. Cambridge University Press (preprint)


* we do provide some MEX files, but compilation of these is optional