MATLAB (The MathWorks) is a high-level technical computing language and interactive environment for algorithm development, data visualization, data analysis, and numeric computation. Its syntax is close to that of matrix algebra, making the code an effective pseudo-code for the algorithms, and leading to fast development times.
The SPM software is a collection of MATLAB functions and thus requires the MATLAB software to be installed on your computer in order to run. SPM requires only core MATLAB to run (no special toolboxes are required - unless stated otherwise).
Each SPM version was written for a particular MATLAB version and will not work with earlier versions. MATLAB versions released after SPM can have some peculiarities but SPM developers try to provide compatibility fixes in the updates (at least for recent SPM versions).
Whilst the majority of the code is implemented as standard MATLAB M-files, SPM also uses external MEX files, written in C, to perform some of the more computationally intensive operations. Pre-compiled binaries of these external C-MEX routines are provided for several platforms and correspond to files with extensions .mexwin32, .mexwin64, .mexglx, .mexa64, .mexmac, .mexmaci, .mexmaci64, .mexsol, .mexs64.
If the compiled MEX-files are provided for your platform, then SPM should work straight out of the box. If they are not provided or if they appear to be incompatible with your system, then you will need to create the MEX files using a suitable C compiler and the Makefile provided with the SPM distribution. To do so, follow the indications given in these pages for the corresponding platform:
MATLAB Compatibility with SPM
|Version||Release||Date||SPM12 ||SPM8||SPM5 ||SPM2||SPM99|
|Compatible||Compatible after fix||Incompatible||Unknown|
- Beta version, released in December 2012
- The Mathworks Signal Processing Toolbox is required for M/EEG preprocessings (filtering, downsampling)
- See SPM5 project on SourceForge.net.
- See SPM2 project on SourceForge.net.
- See SPM99 project on SourceForge.net.
- Some functionalities in the MEEG Review facility are disabled with these versions.
Other numerical analysis software
Scilab, Octave and FreeMat are free open source numerical analysis software similar to MATLAB, but SPM does not currently run on them. Porting SPM to these environments should be feasible but would require an important investment.
See SPM/Octave for more details about compatibility of SPM with Octave.