VBMEG is a Matlab toolbox for estimating cortical currents from MEG/EEG data. If you have fMRI information, VBMEG uses it as prior knowledge for source estimation and yields more accurate source localization.   VBMEG is developed by ATR Neural Information Analysis Laboratories (ATR-NIA). The development of this software was supported by NICT.


  • 2011-06-15:VBMEG v1.0-0-a-0 Released.
  • 2012-06-29:VBMEG v1.0-1-a-0 Matlab toolbox for importing Neuromag data Released. Please read the Release notes here.
  • 2012-08-21:Added movies, Added twitter button.
  • 2012-08-24:VBMEG v1.0-2-a-0 Released.
    Please read the Release notes here.
  • 2013-02-21:MEX files compiled by MATLAB R2011b on Windows7(32/64bit) Released.
  • 2013-08-27:Added VBMEG Function Reference to Documents.


These documents are located in the VBMEG directory($VBMEG/functions/doc) except for positioning software manual.


MATLAB version 7 – 2014a is required.

  • MEX files
    Almost the code of VBMEG is implemented as MATLAB M-files,  VBMEG also uses a few MEX files written in C. You will need to recompile them when the MEX functions do not work. Please read here about the information.
    You need to install Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redestributable Package(x86/x64).Mex files compiled by MATLAB R2011b on Windows7(32/64bit) are here.

You can download VBMEG and accompanying sample brain data for tutorial and manual. Please download either (1) all-in-one zip or (2) separate zip files.  Both have the same content.

(1) All-in-one file

(2) Separate files

Mailing list

Submit questions or comments to the following mailing list.  No restrictions on viewing the archives but you have to subscribe before submission.  Use your institutional address rather than free mail.


  • A movie showing a visual stimulus to the subject and estimated cortical currents (played at 1/15 “super-slow” speed). The stimulus at the upper left is switched every 0.3 seconds. With VBMEG, we reconstruct the detailed activation patterns at the visual area.
  • Graphical user interface in VBMEG.


Hierarchical variational Bayesian estimation:

  • M. Sato, T. Yoshioka, S. Kajihara, K. Toyama, N. Goda, K. Doya, and M. Kawato, “Hierarchical Bayesian estimation for MEG inverse problem,” NeuroImage, vol. 23, pp. 806–826, 2004.
  • T. Yoshioka, K. Toyama, M. Kawato, O. Yamashita, S. Nishina, N. Yamagishi, and M. Sato, “Evaluation of hierarchical Bayesian method through retinotopic brain activities reconstruction from fMRI and MEG signals,” NeuroImage, vol. 42, pp. 1397–1413, 2008.
  • T. Aihara, M. Takeda, K. Takeda, W. Yasuda, T. Sato, Y. Otaka, T. Hanakawa, M. Honda, M. Liu, M. Kawato, M. Sato, R. Osu, “Cortical current source estimation from electroencephalography in combination with near-infrared spectroscopy as a hierarchical prior,” NeuroImage, in press.

Extra dipole method:

  • Y. Fujiwara, O. Yamashita, D. Kawawaki, K. Doya, M. Kawato, K. Toyama, and M. Sato, “A hierarchical Bayesian method to resolve an inverse problem of MEG contaminated with eye movement artifacts,” NeuroImage, vol. 45, pp. 393–406, 2009.
  • (In Japanese) K. Morishige, D. Kawawaki, T. Yoshioka, M. Sato, and M. Kawato, “Simultaneous estimation of artifact sources and cortical currents in the MEG inverse problem,” IEICE Transactions on Information and Systems (Japanese Edition), vol. J93-D, pp. 127–138, 2010.

Neuroscience studies using VBMEG:

  • K. Shibata, N. Yamagishi, N. Goda, T. Yoshioka, O. Yamashita, M. Sato, and M. Kawato. “The effects of feature attention on prestimulus cortical activity in the human visual system.” Cerebral Cortex, vol.18, pp. 1664–1675, 2007.
  • D. Callan, A. Callan, M. Sato, and M. Kawato, “Premotor cortex mediates perceptual performance.” NeuroImage, vol.51, pp. 844–858, 2010.
  • A. Toda, H. Imamizu, M. Kawato, and M. Sato. “Reconstruction of two-dimensional movement trajectories from selected magnetoencephalography cortical currents by combined sparse Bayesian methods.” NeuroImage, vol. 54, pp. 892–905, 2011.
  • N. Yoshimura, C. S. DaSalla, T. Hanakawa, M. Sato, Y. Koike, “Reconstruction of flexor and extensor muscle activities from electroencephalography cortical currents,” NeuroImage, vol. 59, pp. 1324-1337, 2012.

External links

Brain analysis software:

Measurement device:

If you have a plan to use VBMEG in your commercial products, please contact ATR IP Support Section (chizai@atr.jp).