Brian 1.4.1

We have just released Brian 1.4.1, available from PyPI using  pip install -U brian or easy_install -U brian, or from the NeuralEnsemble server. It will be soon available in the NeuroDebian repositories as well, thanks to the NeuroDebian team.

This is a minor release, but it adds a couple of useful features (including experimental features for the Synapses class) and fixes some important bugs, in particular for users of brian hears. A list of changes can be found below:

Major features:

  • C extensions are compiled by default during installation (with a fallback to the Python version if compilation fails) -- this might lead to a considerable speedup for users who did not compile those extensions manually before. Note that this only includes installations based on running setup.py (including pip and easy_install), not the Windows .exe installer.
Minor features:
  • Convenience methods for the Synapses class, allowing to save and load the connectivity and to convert the weights into a matrix
  • A new openmp option to switch on the use of OpenMP pragmas in generated C code
  • Brian hears: Two new models, MiddleEar (filtering by the middle ear) and ZhangSynapse (model of the IHC-AN synapse)
  • Brian hears: New convenience functions to get reasonable axis ticks for logarithmic axes
Improvements:
  • Brian's documentation is now also available under brian.readthedocs.org
  • ProgressReporter has context manager support (i.e. can be used in "with" statements)
  • NeuronGroup and Synapses work with empty model specifications.
  • C version of SpikeContainer is now picklable
Bug fixes:
  • Synaptic equations referring to variables in the pre- or postsynaptic group are never considered as being linear (fixes ticket #83)
  • Fix issue with static equations in synaptic models (see  https://groups.google.com/d/msg/briansupport/-/uqxLK_yoqKUJ )
  • Make LinearStateUpdater pickable, even if array B is "NotImplemented".
  • Fixed the bug in which the StateSpikeMonitor didn't record variables defined with a static equation.
  • Important bug fixes for brian hears, all users are encouraged to update:
    • Make sure that LinearFilterbank copies it source and therefore not changes it (when not using weave) (fixes ticket #73)
    • Fix some bugs in the TanCarney model
    •  Fix shifting multi-channel sounds with fractional=True (fixes ticket #80)
Experimental features:
  • C version of SpikeQueue (used in the Synapses class), which can lead to a considerable speedup (see "Advanced concepts/Compiled code" for instructions how to use it).
  • Delays can be specified as a parameters of the Synapses model and then be changed dynamically.