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NEST simulator documentation

Installing NEST is (literally) as simple as typing
pip3 install nest-simulator Or check out our other installation options

quick links

  • NESTML - fast prototyping, create own model
  • HPC - all the info for clusters and supercomputer set ups
  • APIs - find all functions
  • Convert scripts from NEST 2.x to 3.x
  • Contact us!
  • NEST simulator home page

Here is a sample NEST script. Click each section and discover related topics!

            import nest

            neurons = nest.Create("iaf_psc_alpha", 10000, {
                "V_m": nest.random.normal(-5.0),
                "I_e": 1000.0

            input = nest.Create("noise_generator", params={
                "amplitude": 500.0
            nest.Connect(input, neurons, syn_spec={'synapse_model': 'stdp_synapse'})

            spikes = nest.Create("spike_recorder", params={
                'record_to': 'ascii',
                'label': 'excitatory_spikes'
            nest.Connect(neurons, spikes)

            nest.raster_plot.from_device(spikes, hist=True)

Tutorials and guides

If you're new to NEST, check out our PyNEST tutorials, where you can learn about the NEST interface and how to build networks.
We also provide an in depth look at spatially structured networks.
Need to convert scripts written for NEST 2.x into NEST 3.x and beyond? Take a look at our reference guide.

Learning from example

Our extensive list of example scripts showcase the many models and methods you can use for your project.
For a large-scale spiking model, check out the multi-area model.

API documentation

Need to look up a command for NEST? Browse all our available functions.

Related projects

NEST is one among a set of awesome tools and resources for researchers in neuroscience, robotics, and beyond. If you're looking for ways to analyze your results, compare with other simulators, or want to use a graphical user interface, we have some ideas for you. See our list of related projects.


Did you use NEST in your research? Please cite us! You can also access logo for posters and presentations here.

Developer space

All model implementations and simulation algorithms in NEST are thoroughly tested and highly optimized. We employ a modern development process, continuous integration, and code reviews to ensure that the NEST code is rock solid at all times. If you want the gritty details and find out how it's done come to the dark side! See our developer facing documentation.