BrainVoyager 23.2 for Windows

BrainVoyager is our flagship product providing a comprehensive, fast and elegant way to perform basic and advanced neuroimaging data analysis and to create stunning visualizations. For more information, read the BrainVoyager release blog posts.

BrainVoyager EDU version. If you are new to BrainVoyager and want to check it out, we recommend to use the EDU version of BrainVoyager. The EDU version does not require a license and is fully functional. It is, however, limited to specific datasets that are used to teach BrainVoyager and (f)MRI data analysis more generally. Installing and running the EDU version is also useful to test compatibility of your computer hardware with BrainVoyager. For more details, follow the link to the EDU version.

. BrainVoyager uses a software-based licensing system and will not run without a valid single computer or floating network license. If you use a floating network license, your license server needs to be running version 2.0 or newer in order to work with BrainVoyager 23. In order to install BrainVoyager, please download the software using the following link:
setup_bv_v23.2.0_win-x64.exe (460 MB)

If you do not have a license yet, you can use the free EDU version or ask for a time-limited trial license (see below) to evaluate BrainVoyager with your own data. A trial license unlocks most features of a full license lacking only optional components (no scripting and plugins). You need to accept the license agreement during installation.
In case you have an older version of BrainVoyager, close any running instance prior to installation. We highly recommend to deinstall any older version of BrainVoyager before running the new installer. Uninstalling an old BrainVoyager version will not remove any custom data files.
To install the program, double click the downloaded installer executable (.exe file) and follow the instructions of the Installation Wizard. The installer will put the folder “BrainVoyager” with the executable "BrainVoyager.exe" in the “C:\Program Files” directory (“C:\” is the usual location of the operating system drive, it might be different in your case). For convenient access, the installer will put User Guides, Getting Started Guides, notebooks, scripts and plugins in the user's “Documents/BrainVoyager" directory. This is also the default location of the "SampleData" and "Projects" folders.

Licensing. If you have already a valid software license, you can continue using BrainVoyager as before after installation and enjoy its new features. If you do not have a license, you will see a licensing screen after starting the software. To activate (unlock) a time-limited trial version, you need to send an email to “licensing [at] brainvoyager [dot] com” containing the displayed “Hardware-ID” and additional information for registration (name, institute/lab, mail address). Such an email is prepared automatically by clicking the “Prepare Email” button in the displayed "License Activation" dialog. Usually within a few days you will receive a license key and a license name/ID (e.g. TSKF307BC88-PETER-SUGAR). After entering this information in the licensing dialog, the software will be activated and it is ready to use for 30 days. More details about the licensing and activation process can be found on the page BrainVoyager Software Licensing.

In order to get the full version of BrainVoyager (after evaluating the EDU or trial version), please send an email to “sales [at] brainvoyager [dot] com” to purchase a license. The full version enables some features that are disabled in the trial version, including scripting and plugins. If you purchase the full version of BrainVoyager, you will get a key that unlocks all licensed features and the software can be used as long as requested in the purchased license. There is also a floating network license available allowing to use a licensed maximum number of computers concurrently from computers in a local (e.g. lab) network. For details send an email to licensing [at] brainvoyager [dot] com.
System Requirements
Version 23.0 of BrainVoyager is fully compatible with Microsoft Windows 11 and 10. Note that BrainVoyager is only provided as 64-bit software and thus requires a 64-bit Windows operating system.
Important: In case that BrainVoyager does not start after installation, you need to run the Microsoft "vc_redist.x64.exe" file that is available in the BrainVoyager folder ("C:\Program Files\BrainVoyager\vc_redist.x64.exe") and it can be also downloaded here.
Most functions of BrainVoyager run with modest working memory demands, but a minimum of 4 GB is required and 16+ GB recommended.
GPU support for graphics and compute. BrainVoyager is a graphics-intensive program requiring DirectX 11 and OpenGL 3.3 or higher for its operation as well as (optionally but highly recommended) OpenCL for acceleration of compute-intensive calculations. Make sure that the latest graphics drivers are installed, which should be the case if the operating system is regularly updated. In case you have multiple graphics cards, make sure that the better performing one is used for BrainVoyager. Some Windows laptops and desktop computer have, for example, a lower-performing integrated Intel graphics card, and a high-performance (discrete, stand-alone) graphics card from NVIDIA or AMD. While BrainVoyager runs fine with most recent integrated Intel graphics cards, it is advised to use the high-performance graphics card to run BrainVoyager in such constellations. To ensure this, a special tool from the graphics card provider need to be used to specify that BrainVoyager.exe should use the high-performance graphics card (e.g. via the NVIDIA Control Panel, which may be accessible directly when right-clicking the BrainVoyager.exe file). To check this, BrainVoyager reports which graphics card is chosen as well as which version of OpenGL is available in the program's "Log pane". In case the GUI is not starting for some reason, you can also consult the "bv_ogl.txt" file that BrainVoyager stores in the "Documents/BrainVoyager" directory of the current user.
Note. BrainVoyager supports OpenCL (GP-GPU) acceleration for several compute-intensive operations if supported by your computer system. To benefit from this, OpenCL acceleration must be turned on in the "Settings" dialog. For details how to test its performance and how to enable it, inspect topic "Exploiting the Power of GP-GPUs" in chapter "Additional Documentation" of the User's Guide.
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Python Support
Since version 20, BrainVoyager supports an embedded Python interpreter that can be used from BV notebooks and a a Python editor. Importantly, BrainVoyager extends the Python interpreter with methods and properties that gain access to BrainVoyager functionality enabling scripting and batch programming. As Windows 10 and 11 do not come with a pre-installed Python, it needs to be installed on your computer if you want to use Python in BrainVoyager. We recommend to install the Miniconda distribution, which has the advantage that one can easily create multiple environments with different Python versions and modules. If you define a Python 3.10 Miniconda3 environment with the name "env_bv_py310", it will be automatically picked up by BrainVoyager as the default Python version. Note: If you update from version 22, you need to install PySide6 in an existing Python 3.8 / 3.10 environment before it can be used with BrainVoyager 23.x. For more details, follow the instructions to install and enable Python.

After installing Python 3.10 (or 3.8) as described, BrainVoyager will enable Python automatically in most cases when used the first time, e.g. when evaluating code in a notebook or in the Python code editor. In case another 3.8/3.10 distribution (or environment name) is used, you can use the "Select Python on Disk" item in the "Python" menu to point BrainVoyager to the respective version. It is recommended to run the code cells of the 'Test Python' notebook to check access to a specific Python version and installed modules.

The provided BV Notebook window can be launched from the respective icon in the toolbar or from the "Notebooks" menu. Several example notebooks are available in the "Documents/BrainVoyager/Notebooks" directory; this directory is also the default location when using the "Open" command in the "BV Notebook" window. When clicking the Python icon on the right side of the main toolbar, BrainVoyager presents a (docked or floating) interactive python console and a python development window that can be used to load, edit and save Python files. To learn how to use Python in notebooks and code editors to script processing routines or to add new functionality, consult the Python Developer Guide that is available from the "Python" menu. You will also find several example Python files in the "PythonScripts" and "PythonPlugins" sub-directories of the “Documents/BrainVoyager/Extensions" folder; these folders are displayed also as default in the "Files" panel on the left side of the Python development window.
Matlab / COM Support
BrainVoyager can be scripted from Matlab, for details see the "ScriptingBrainVoyager23fromMatlab.pdf" file that will be available in the "GettingStartedGuides" directory inside the user's "Documents\BrainVoyager" folder after installation. To access BrainVoyager from Matlab (or other COM-based access such as the Windows Scripting Host), BrainVoyager must be registered as a COM server in the operating system. This can be done by running BrainVoyager from a Windows command shell window with the parameter "-regserver". To simplify setup, the command shell file "RegisterAsCOMServer.cmd" is installed in the BrainVoyager folder that can be run by double clicking. It is, however, recommended to run this command with administrative rights, i.e. by right-clicking the file and then selecting "Run as administrator"in the context menu. After registering BrainVoyager as a COM server once, BrainVoyager can be used from Matlab as described in the Matlab scripting guide.
The User's Guide (available locally as well as online) provides basic and advanced information about BrainVoyager and can be easily invoked by clicking the "User's Guide" icon in the main toolbar or by clicking the "User's Guide" item (or "User’s Guide (Web)" item) in the "Help" menu. The BrainVoyager 23.2 User's Guide is also available as an eBook.
Several PDF files introducing various topics are also placed in the "Documents/BrainVoyager/GettingStartedGuides" folder after installation, including the BrainVoyager Getting Started Guide that is highly recommended for beginners. If you are upgrading BrainVoyager, you may want to check out the "News" section of the User's Guide. We highly recommend to read the release notes (available from the "Help" menu) to learn about new features, enhancements and bug fixes. Release notes are available for the current as well as previous releases. Documentation is also available on this web page, including a PDF and eBook version of the User's Guide. If you have any questions, suggestions or bug reports, please send an email to support [at] BrainVoyager [dot] com.

We also recommend to install the BrainVoyager documentation viewer DocuViewer 3.2 application that can be used to view the User's Guide without running BrainVoyager. The DocuViewer can be used also to view other help files including the Python Developer Guide and the C++ Plugin Developer Guide as well as help files from our other software including Turbo-BrainVoyager and Brain Tutor. Since version 23.2 BrainVoyager stores help files in the "~/Documents/BrainVoyager/UsersGuide" folder. If you click the 'Open File' icon of DocuViewer, this folder will be shown as default for selecting BrainVoyager's help file. Furthermore, the program registers the ".qhc" compressed HTML format enabling to view any ".qhc" help file by simply double-clicking it in the Explorer.
setup_DocuViewer_v3.2_win-x64.exe (98 MB)

After downloading, double-click the setup .exe file to install DocuViewer on your system. An icon to start the program will be placed on the Windows Desktop and the Start menu.
Sample Data
If you want to learn basic and advanced features of BrainVoyager (EDU), it may be useful to start with example data sets, which are also used in our BrainVoyager training courses. The installers available on this page for download do not install sample data (except the small "NB_GSGData" dataset used by the "Introduction" notebook). To download example data sets, click the "Sample Data Web Page" item in the "Help" menu of BrainVoyager or visit the example data sets page with your Browser. The analysis of the "Faces, Houses, Visual Fields" dataset is described in detail in the BrainVoyager Getting Started Guide.