Optical coherence tomography (OCT) images are usually degraded by significant speckle noise, which will strongly hamper their quantitative analysis. However, speckle noise reduction in OCT images is particularly challenging because of the difficulty in differentiating between noise and the information components of the speckle pattern. To address this problem, the spiking cortical model (SCM)-based nonlocal means method is presented. The proposed method explores self-similarities of OCT images based on rotation-invariant features of image patches extracted by SCM and then restores the speckled images by averaging the similar patches. This method can provide sufficient speckle reduction while preserving image details very well due to its effectiveness in finding reliable similar patches under high speckle noise contamination. When applied to the retinal OCT image, this method provides signal-to-noise ratio improvements of with a small 5.4% loss of similarity.