The Virtual Brain Project

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Getting Started

First things first. We need you to upload the projects from the TVB sharing area. This might take some time, so while we continue with the program you can start importing the projects into your copy of TVB.

Name Size
LinkandShare_a 11 MB
LinkandShare_b 62 KB
BuildingYourOWnBNM 1.3 GB
Resting State Netowrks 1 GB
ModelingEpilepsy 411 MB


This tutorial presents the basic steps to upload a project, and share data with other users and/or link data to other TVB projects. After this tutorial you should be able to import a new dataset, export a project and share it with a colleague.

For your convenience, all the data were already generated. You can download the and files in the TVB sharing area. We’ll only go through the steps required to reproduce some simulations. You can always start over, click along and/or try to change parameters.

Importing TVB projects

We assume that you have already created an account in your machine. If not, you can always work with the default account admin. Make sure you have enough disk space, all the projects add up to 2 GB.

  1. Go to Projects > List of all projects.
  2. On the right column, bottom corner, click on Import project structure.
Click on Import project structure
  1. Select one of the projects. Click on Upload.
Click on Select files
  1. Be patient.
Be patient, it will take a few minutes.
  1. You can now see the project on the List of all projects.
The imported project is on the .

Adding A New User

In this exercise we will assume that multiple users are working with the same TVB installation.

  1. By default your are the Admin user.
  2. Change the admin email.
  1. Create a user for someone else by registering a new user.
  1. You’ll receive a notification email.
  2. Make sure the new user has been validated.
  1. Login with the Admin account.

Importing A Connectivity

  1. Create a project (e.g. LinkAndShare_a).
  2. Create a second project (e.g. LinkAndShare_b).
  3. Assuming that you are working in the first project, upload a Connectivity in a zip file. This was already done but you can repeat these steps.
  4. Go to Projects > Data structure. Click on Upload Data. An overlay with the current supported formats will appear.
  5. Select Connectivity ZIP.
  6. Select the file found at TVB_Distribution/tvb_data/.
Supported data formats.
  1. Add a personalized tag to this newly created datatype (e.g. conn_96).
  2. Save the changes.
Add a personalized tag.

Export and Read

  1. Go to Project > Data structure
  2. Click on node_tr from TimeSeriesRegion - conn_192.
  3. From the overlay, Export tab, download the data in TVB format (h5).
  4. Rename the file if you want (e.g. LinkAndShare_TimeSeriesRegion).

From an ipython shell you can follow the commands presented below. You can also use a ipython notebook by going into TVB_Distribution/bin/ and start the ipython_notebook script.

In [1]: import h5py
In [2]: import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

In [3]: f = h5py.File('LinkAndShare_TimeSeriesRegion.h5')

In [4]: f.keys()
Out[4]: [u'data', u'time']

In [5]: f.attrs.keys()

In[6]: plt.plot(f['time'], f['data'][:, 0, :, 0])

In [7]: plt.xlabel('time [ms]')
Out[7]: <matplotlib.text.Text at 0x118e95310>

In [8]: plt.ylabel('amplitude [au]')
Out[8]: <matplotlib.text.Text at 0x118e9a190>

In [9]: plt.title(f.attrs['TVB_Title'])
Out[9]: <matplotlib.text.Text at 0x118eb0ad0>

In Matlab :

>> hinfo = hdf5info('LinkAndShare_TimeSeriesRegion.h5');
>> hinfo.GroupHierarchy.Datasets.Name
ans =
ans =
>> hinfo.GroupHierarchy.Attributes.Name
>> data = hdf5read(hinfo.GroupHierarchy.Datasets(1));
>> time = hdf5read(hinfo.GroupHierarchy.Datasets(2));
>> plot(time, squeeze(data))
>> xlabel('time [ms]')
>> ylabel('amplitude [au]')

In R:

> data <- h5read("/Users/paupau/GithubProjects/tvb-handbook/
tvbworkshop/LinkAndShare_TimeSeriesRegion.h5", "data")

> time <- h5read("/Users/paupau/GithubProjects/tvb-handbook/
tvbworkshop/LinkAndShare_TimeSeriesRegion.h5", "time")

> data = drop(mydata)

> plot(mytime, data[,1], type="l")

More Documentation

Online help is available clicking on the image icons next to each entry. For more documentation on The Virtual Brain platform, please see Sanz_Leon_et_al, Woodman_et_al.


The official TVB webiste is All the documentation and tutorials are hosted on You’ll find our public repository at For questions and bug reports we have a users group!forum/tvb-users

[Sanz_Leon_et_al]Sanz-Leon P, Knock SA,, Woodman MM, Domide L, Mersmann J, McIntosh AR, Jirsa VK. The virtual brain: a simulator of primate brain network dynamics. Frontiers in Neuroinformatics, 7:10, 2013.
[Woodman_et_al]Woodman MM, Pezard L, Domide L, Knock SA, Salz-Leon P, McIntosh AR, Mersmann J, Jirsa VK. Integrating neuroinformatics tools in the virtual brain. Frontiers in Neuroinformatics, 8:36, 2014