The analytical companion for Neurolucida and Neurolucida 360 designed to perform extensive morphometric analysis
MBF Bioscience > Neurolucida®Explorer

Product Overview

Neurolucida Explorer is the analytical software companion for Neurolucida and Neurolucida 360. The intuitive and easy-to-use software is designed to perform extensive morphometric analysis on neuron reconstructions, serial section reconstructions and brain maps.


Visualize and interpret data models in a 3D environment and automatically generate comprehensive quantitative metrics. With dozens of structural, spatial, orientation, and regional analyses, you can explore and export thousands of parameters.

Sholl analysis
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Key Benefits

Comprehensive quantitative neuroanatomical morphometric analysis

Neurolucida Explorer, the analytical software companion for Neurolucida and Neurolucida 360 programs, empowers researchers with the analytical tools needed to produce accurate quantitative metrics for a wide range of scientific investigation. Neurolucida Explorer is equipped with dozens of neuronal and regional analyses that are customizable to your specific research questions.

We have removed the obstacles for rapid, high-volume, quantitative data analysis by programming all the complex morphological analyses, so you don’t have to. No scripting or programming skills are needed to use Neurolucida Explorer to its full capacity.

Minimum System Requirements

Operating system

Windows 10 or MacOS 10.12

Input Specifications

Supported image file formats

XML, ASC, or DAT generated in Neurolucida 360 or Neurolucida

Output Specifications

Tracing export formats

Data model: XML*, ASC, DAT, NRX 

Vector: SVG 

Images: TIFF, JPEG, PNG 

Marker coordinates: TXT 


* Our XML data file format, the Neuromorphological File Specification (NFS), was recently endorsed as a standard by the INCF.

Scientists Discover New “Rosehip” Neuron in Human Brain
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Ohio State Neuroscientists Use Neurolucida to Analyze Brain Cells in Sexually Active Hamsters
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Scientists in Portugal Use Neurolucida Explorer to Analyze Neuroplasticity in Depression
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Scientists in Japan Identify Two Brain Circuits Involved in Image Recognition; Neurolucida Plays Part
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It’s Not You, It’s Your Hormones. Scientists Study Estrogen’s Role in Stress.
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Brain Inflammation May Cause Autoimmune Disease Stress
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Multiple Sclerosis and Schizophrenia Research May Benefit From New Findings
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Neurolucida Helps Scientists Better Understand Sound Localization
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Visit our blog to read more case studies

Version 2024.1.1
Release January 2024

New features and enhancements

  • New analysis added for calculating puncta distances along a branch
  • Polar histogram, fan in, and dendrogram analyses were added to batch analysis
  • An alert is now displayed when a file name exceeds the 30-character limit
  • Puncta are now highlighted when selected
  • The recent file list now updates during Neurolucida Explorer sessions
  • The results tables have been updated throughout to enhance clarity and usability

Download Neurolucida Explorer product sheet here.

Who Is Using Neurolucida Explorer?

Neurolucida Explorer is used across the globe by the most prestigious laboratories. 

News About Neurolucida Explorer

Cited in Peer Reviewed Scientific Publications

Neurolucida Explorer’s utility is underscored by the number of references it receives in the worlds most important scientific publications. See examples below: 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I perform Sholl analysis with Neurolucida Explorer?

Yes. Not only does Neurolucida Explorer have a dedicated Sholl analysis feature that automatically reports on the length and intersections of processes contained in each shell, the software generates a graphical and interactive display of the nested concentric spheres in a 3D environment.

Do I have to purchase Neurolucida 360 and Neurolucida Explorer separately?

Neurolucida Explorer software is complimentary to the purchase of Neurolucida or Neurolucida 360 software. Additional licenses of Neurolucida Explorer sold separately.

Can I install Neurolucida Explorer on a different computer than Neurolucida or Neurolucida 360?

Yes. Though Neurolucida Explorer can be directly launched from Neurolucida or Neurolucida 360 applications, the software can be installed separately on other computers in your lab to increase data generation and interpretation throughput.

Unlike other MBF Bioscience software, Neurolucida Explorer has a Mac-compatible version available.

Can I export Neurolucida Explorer-derived metrics?

With a click of a button, the tabular morphometric data generated by Neurolucida Explorer can be easily exported to Excel. For researchers who prefer to program custom analyses and operations, data can be exported as separate files for loading into other software such as Matlab, Python, or R.

Can I request a custom analysis that isn’t already included in the Neurolucida Explorer toolset?

MBF is proud to help bioscience leaders and experts push the next wave of innovation and discovery to benefit humanity. Given this, it’s possible you’re looking for customized technology for your needs. If that is the case, click here to get in touch with us directly. We’d be happy and honored to see if we can create something together that will move all of us forward.

What metrics are generated for dendritic spine quantification?

Neurolucida Explorer can help you comprehensively analyze dendritic spines in their full complexity. The spine analyses report on branch order, spine classification, overall length, length to center, head & neck diameter, surface area, volume, base coordinate, plane angle, and more.

Interested in elucidating and analyzing dendritic spine changes over time? Check out our MicroDynamix  software.

What are the differences between Neurolucida 360 and Neurolucida Explorer?

Neurolucida Explorer is the analytical software companion for Neurolucida and Neurolucida 360. Researchers can use Neurolucida 360 or Neurolucida to generate neuron reconstructions and anatomical models from acquired image data or directly from slides at the microscope, respectively. Then you can leave the image data and microscope behind, and employ Neurolucida Explorer to quantify the Neurolucida 360 or Neurolucida-derived models.

Are there online resources to help me learn the software and better understand the analysis formulas in Neurolucida Explorer?

All MBF Bioscience software comes with comprehensive, context-sensitive help guides accessible online or offline. All of the analysis available in Neurolucida Explorer have been fully documented in the product user-guide. Additionally, you can use this matrix to identify which branched structure analyses would best suit your data.

Further, reduce the initial learning curve with our online learning center for how-to videos, quick guide PDFs, and product-specific webinars.


Robust Professional Support

Our service sets us apart, with a team that includes Ph.D. neuroscientists, experts in microscopy, stereology, neuron reconstruction, and image processing.  We’ve also developed a host of additional support services, including:

  • Forums
    We have over 25 active forums where open discussions take place.
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  • On-Site/Training
    We’ve conducted over 750 remote software installations.
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  • Webinars
    We’ve created over 55 webinars that demonstrate our products & their uses.
    >> Learn More

Request an Expert Demonstration

We offer both a free expert demonstration and a free trial copy of Neurolucida Explorer. During your personal session, you’ll also have the opportunity to talk to us about your hardware, software and experimental design questions with our team of Ph.D. neuroscientists and experts in microscopy, worm tracking and image processing.

Related Products

Neurolucida® 360

The most advanced software for automatic 3D neuron reconstruction.


Neuron tracing & analysis directly at the microscope. The gold standard for neuron tracing.


Makes it easy to view, analyze, and share big image data from many sources.

Recorded Webinars and Videos

Webinar: Introduction to Neurolucida

Webinar: Q&A session on the quantitative analysis capabilities of Neurolucida Explorer

Introduction to Neurolucida