, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 243-267
Date: 15 Feb 2012

neuroVIISAS: Approaching Multiscale Simulation of the Rat Connectome

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Abstract

neuroVIISAS is a generic platform which allows the integration of neuroontologies, mapping functions for brain atlas development, and connectivity data administration; all of which are required for the analysis of structurally and neurobiologically realistic simulations of networks. What makes neuroVIISAS unique is the ability to integrate neuroontologies, image stacks, mappings, visualizations, analyzes and simulations to use them for modelling and simulations. Based on the analysis of over 2020 tracing studies, atlas terminologies and registered histological stacks of images, neuroVIISAS permits the definition of neurobiologically realistic networks that are transferred to the simulation engine NEST. The analysis on a local and global level, the visualization of connectivity data and the results of simulations offer new possibilities to study structural and functional relationships of neural networks. This paper describes the major components and techniques of how to analyse, visualize and simulate with neuroVIISAS shown on a model network at a coarse CNS level (106 regions, 1566 connections) out of 13681 regions and 134043 connections of the left and right part of the CNS. This network of major components of the left and right hemisphere has small-world properties of the Watts-Strogatz model. Furthermore, synchronized subpopulations, oscillations of rate distributions and a time shift of population activities of the left and right hemisphere were observed in the neurocomputational simulations. In summary, a generic platform has been developed that realizes data-analysis-visualization integration for the exploration of network dynamics on multiple levels.