The SURF-HIPPO Neuron Simulator is a circuit simulation package for investigating morphometrically and biophysically detailed models of single neurons and small networks of neurons. SURF-HIPPO allows ready construction of multiple cells from various file formats, which can describe complicated dendritic trees in 3-space with distributed non-linearities and synaptic contacts between cells. Cell geometries may also be traced from the histology directly on the screen, using the mouse. An extensive user interface is provided, including menus, 3D graphics of dendritic trees, and data plotting. Data files may also be saved for analysis with external tools. A research version of SURF-HIPPO (available by anonymous ftp from ftp.ai.mit.edu [pub/surf-hippo]) is written in LISP, and is configured to run using the public domain CMU Common Lisp and Garnet packages. Our version is compiled for SPARC workstations, and should be easily ported to other UNIX machines running X. LISP is a useful simulator language because it has the benefits of a powerful interpreted script language, but it may also be compiled. Thus it is convenient to integrate custom code into SURF-HIPPO. The simulator may also be used with a minimum of programming expertise, if desired.
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