Announcing Open Access to Electrophysiology of the Neuron

Electrophysiology of the Neuron"Electrophysiology of the Neuron" is an interactive tutorial that comes with a computer disk for simulation of single neurons on a Macintosh or IBM-PC compatible computer. It was available from Oxford University Press ISBN # 0-19-509167-1 (mac) and 0-19- 509111-6 (PC), and is now out of print. It was designed to be an adjunct to Neurobiology, 3rd edition by Gordon Shepherd, but can also be used as a stand alone text.

News, October 31, 2008. We are pleased to announce, that since the book is no longer in print, we will be distributing an eVersion of the book and the windows and the Macintosh Classic (not OS X) versions of the software for free.


If you already have installed the commercial software that came with the book, you can download complimentary upgrades for Windows and Macintosh versions of the software that comes with the book Electrophysiology of the Neuron.

Windows versions

Click the following link to download the Setup program that will upgrade a current windows version of EOTN to the latest version, one that includes support for Windows printers and clipboard. These have poweruser options, that allow additional features, such as modifying the display, editing the voltage-dependent models, etc.

Here is a direct link to an updated poweruser version of ccwin.exe that doesn't require the enable steps listed below.

To enable poweruser features in Windows:

  1. The instructions are briefly indicated in the online help, under Overview.
  2. In Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP you need to change the shortcut properties.
  3. Right click on the program icon, then select properties
  4. Select "shortcut", then "target".
  5. Put the word poweruser (after a space) at the end of the line where the VCWIN.exe or CCWIN.EXE is indicated.
  6. Click on OK
Here is a very small python script that will convert the output of the simulation from a binary file to a text (CSV) file, and here is a file with the column descriptors in the output file.

NEW! Tested 09/27/2022 JRH. PlayOnMac v4.4.3 works with the Setup Program to run the Windows version work on your Mac, via PlayOnMac (via WINE).
If you are having trouble downloading PlayOnMac, here is a local copy.

Macintosh PowerUser version:

You can also download Macintosh PowerUser versions of the two programs.

Please note: These versions will only work if you have the previous version already loaded on your computer.

The download files are in BinHex 4.0 format. To install these programs on your computer:

Download CCLAMP-SU and VCLAMP-SU now:

Super User version of Current Clamp simulation program. HTTP

Super User version of Vurrent Clamp simulation program. HTTP

Movies of Intracellular Recordings!

We have found that it is very useful to see the activity of real neurons in order to get an intuitive feel for how neurons behave. Therefore, we have included here some Windows AVI movie files (with sound) that you can download and watch.

Movie of Pyramidal CellThe first movie illustrates a neuron similar to that simulated and illustrated in Figure 21 of Electrophysiology of the Neuron. This neuron is a human cortical pyramidal cell maintained in vitro.

The cortical pyramidal cell responds to a current pulse with the generation of a train of action potentials, the frequency of which slows down over time, a process known as spike frequency adaptation.

Movie: Pyramidal Cell The second movie is the same neuron after the slow Ca2+-activated K+ current I-AHP is blocked with the local application of serotonin. Now the neuron generates less spike frequency adaptation and a higher frequency of neuronal discharge.

Neurons in different parts of the brain generate different patterns of activity. For example, neurons in the Thalamus behave quite distinctly from those in Cerebral Cortex.

Movie: ThalamusAs a comparison with the above movies of a cortical pyramidal cell, download and watch this movie of the two states of activity in a Thalamic Relay Neuron (4.4 Megabytes). These two states of activity are similar to those illustrated in Figures 23 and 24 of Electrophysiology of the Neuron.

New Simulations

In this section, we illustrate new simulations that can be run in Windows versions directly from the WWW.
Just set up your browser so that "*.cc4" files will start up CCwin.exe as a helper application, and "*.vc4" will start up VCwin.exe.

Here is a copy of a current clamp demo that illustrates spike frequency accomodation, to show how you can interface CCwin with WWW!
And here is a voltage clamp demo to illustrate that the envelope of tail currents closely follows the envelope of the T current.

News, May 31, 2014.
A cross-platform version in development: Updated cross-platform EOTN version
from Carlos Manuel Rodriguez and Michael Markham at University of Oklahoma. Note that this beta version of the program has not been fully validated.

Thank you for visiting the Electrophysiology of the Neuron Web Page!

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Comments or Questions:
John Huguenard or David McCormick 
John Huguenard /

Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford, CA 94305-5300
David A. McCormick /

Section of Neurobiology Yale University School of Medicine 333 Cedar Street New Haven, CT 06510