Skip to content


Who wrote xolotl?

xolotl was designed and written by Srinivas Gorur-Shandilya and Alec Hoyland in Eve Marder's laboratory at Brandeis University.

What's with the name? And how do I pronounce it?

Xolotl is the Mesoamerican god of lightning and death. It is the humble opinion of this writer that "xolotl" is a better name for a neuron simulator than say, "NEURON".

Click here to listen to a pronunciation.

How can I contribute?

xolotl is far from complete and contributions are welcome. Check out our guide on how to report bugs, add conductances and mechanisms, or contribute to the code base.

Something is broken, what do I do?

As the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy reads, "DON'T PANIC". The most common error we see is an issue between MATLAB, the MEX compiler, and your computer. In that situation, a first step would be to check our compilers guide which has detailed fixes for some of the most common compiler issues we've seen.

If it's not a compiler issue and you've checked all the typical programming pitfalls (syntax, spelling, your MATLAB path, cleared your workspace, etc...), try the following

% erases all the compiled binaries of xolotl networks

% rebuilds the cache of C++ objects

If you're still having a problem, we might have fixed it already! Reinstall or update by running the xolotl.update() if you installed the toolbox or pulling from the repository if you're using git. Remember that if you're using git you should be sure to pull all the dependencies as well (srinivas.gs_mtools, cpplab, puppeteer).

How do I cite this?

Thanks for thinking of us! We have written a technology report about this that has been published in Frontiers in Neuroinformatics.