The Nengo neural simulator

Nengo is a graphical and scripting based Python package for simulating large-scale neural networks. Nengo can create sophisticated spiking or non-spiking neural simulations with sensible defaults in a few lines of code. Yet, Nengo is highly extensible and flexible. You can define your own neuron types and learning rules, get input directly from hardware, build and run deep neural networks, drive robots, and even implement your model on a completely different neural simulator or neuromorphic hardware.

Among other things, Nengo is used to implement networks for deep learning, vision, motor control, visual attention, serial recall, action selection, working memory, attractor dynamics, inductive reasoning, path integration, and planning with problem solving (see the model archive and publications for details).

The book How to build a brain, which includes Nengo tutorials, is now available. This website also has additional information on the book.


We’ve used Nengo to build Spaun, the world’s largest functional brain model. Spaun currently contains 6.6 million neurons and over 10 billion synapses. The original 2.5 million neuron version is described in this Science paper.

Nengo summer school

Showcasing various projects from Nengo summer school (a.k.a. Brain Camp).