Introducing nuSPIC

What is the purpose of nuSPIC?


the connection and its inputs


the output of recorded neurons.


network with your assumption.


your idea with other users.

Neural System Prediction and Identification Challenge

nuSPIC is designed to test two major assumptions in contemporary neuroscience:
  • that we can extract the function(s) performed by a biological neural network provided complete knowledge of network structure and neural activity
  • that we can build models of brain function based on the observed neural activity
However, there is no clear evidence so far that these assumptions are in fact valid. Here we invite you to examine them using simple spiking neuron networks.
» Read more: the science behind nuSPIC

The awards

We will award prizes to those users who successfully extract the "hardwired" function each network was designed for. Additionally, we will consider solutions that propose functions performed by the networks beyond those explicitly built-in. The awards will be given in a first-solved-first-served basis. Recommended steps:
  1. 'Play' around with the networks until you have come up with some reasonable hypothesis about the function that the network may be encoding.
  2. Test your hypothesis for different inputs. Remember, a function should be valid for a broad range of inputs.
  3. Write down short comments about the logical steps that you are performing in the corresponding box.
  4. Once you are sure about the function that you have identified send us an email to
At the moment we have three open challenges: Cajal, Hebb and Marr. Each of these will be awarded a brand new Apple iPod nano 8 GB. For those users who have come close enough to the solution, but are not quite there yet, we will hand out cool nuSPIC T-shirts.
Note: Users can use the forum to discuss problems, exchange ideas etc. However, keep in mind, that the forum is visible to all registered users.

» Take the challenge


Jan. 6, 2014
» Paper published
Our nuSPIC paper has been recently accepted! You can find it online here.
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Nov. 15, 2013
» nuSPIC is back
After some period of inactivity, nuSPIC is back again! We have added a solution to the Hodkin-Huxley network. We have also redesigned nuSPIC-II and will soon provide more detailed instructions.
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Nov. 14, 2011
» nuSPIC at the SFN 2011 meeting
nuSPIC will be present at the SFN 2011 meeting, Washington D.C. Please come over to booth 3329 for a live demonstration.
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Oct. 4, 2011
» First public presentation
nuSPIC is presented for the first time in public during the Bernstein Conference 2011 (BC11) held in Freiburg, Germany
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Oct. 1, 2011
» nuSPIC is now online
nuSPIC is now online
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