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).

See the System Requirements page for a list of suitable platforms to run MATLAB and the Platform Roadmap for the correspondence between MATLAB versions and supported platforms.

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).

MEX filesEdit

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 SPMEdit

Version Release Date SPM12 SPM8 SPM5 [1] SPM2 SPM99
9.1 R2016b 2016 [2] [3] [4]
9.0 R2016a 2016
8.6 R2015b 2015
8.5 R2015a 2015
8.4 R2014b 2014
8.3 R2014a 2014
8.2 R2013b 2013
8.1 R2013a 2013
8.0 R2012b 2012
7.14 R2012a 2012
7.13 R2011b 2011
7.12 R2011a 2011
7.11 R2010b 2010
7.10 R2010a 2010
7.9 R2009b 2009
7.8 R2009a 2009
7.7 R2008b 2008
7.6 R2008a 2008
7.5 R2007b 2007
7.4 R2007a 2007
7.3 R2006b 2006 [5]
7.2 R2006a 2006 [5]
7.1 R14SP3 2005 [5]
7.0.4 R14SP2 2005
7.0.1 R14SP1 2004
7 R14 2004
6.5.2 R13SP2 2003
6.5.1 R13SP1 2003
6.5 R13 2002
6.1 R12.1 2001
6.0 R12 2000
5.3.1 R11.1 1999
5.3 R11 1999
5.2.1 R10.1 1998
Compatible Compatible after fix Incompatible Unknown
  1. The Mathworks Signal Processing Toolbox is required for M/EEG preprocessings (filtering, downsampling)
  2. See SPM5 project on GitHub.
  3. See SPM2 project on GitHub.
  4. See SPM99 project on GitHub.
  5. a b c Some functionalities in the MEEG Review facility are disabled with these versions.

Other numerical analysis softwareEdit

Octave and Scilab 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.