nat: NeuroAnatomy Toolbox

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An R package for the (3D) visualisation and analysis of biological image data, especially tracings of single neurons. nat is the core package of a wider suite of neuroanatomy tools introduced at nat (and its ancestors) have been used in a number of papers from our group including:

Cell 2007 Cover CB 2010 Cover Food and Pheromone Integration Cell 2013 Abstract Neuron 2016

Quick Start

For the impatient …

# install
# use

# plot some test data (?kcs20 for details)
# Drosophila Kenyon cells processed from raw data at
plot3d(kcs20, col=type)
# get help


A confirmed stable version of nat can be installed from CRAN.


However, nat remains under quite active development, so if you will be using nat extensively, we generally recommend installing the latest development version directly from github using the devtools package.

# install devtools if required
if (!requireNamespace("devtools")) install.packages("devtools")
# then install nat


To get an idea of what nat can do:

When you’re ready to learn more:


If you want some help using nat:

If you think that you have found a bug:

Thanks for your interest in nat!