eNEURO – multilevel modelling and simulation of the nervous system
|Institution||Norwegian University of Life Sciences|
|Street Address||P.O. Box 5003|
The project focuses on a central challenge in neuroscience today, namely bridging the gap in understanding between microscopic (single nerve cells) and macroscopic (systems-level) neuroscience. This is addressed by large-scale application and development of a set of computational neuroscience methods and multilevel models to facilitate direct comparison with various types of experimental data, that is, electrical and optical recordings of brain tissue slices and recordings with multicontact (laminar) electrodes in anesthetized animals. The project involves a close interdisciplinary collaboration between computational and experimental neuroscientists at the University of Oslo and at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences as well as international partners at UCSD in California, RIKEN in Japan, and Honda Research Institute in Germany.
In the project, experimentally validated models of single neurons and networks of thousands of neurons will be constructed in a multilevel approach. Neuron models at three levels of biological detail will be considered: biophysically realistic compartmental models (class I), simplified spiking neurons (class II), and firing-rate models (class III). Two particular neurobiological systems will be studied: (i) the processing of sensory tactile stimuli in rat barrel cortex, and (ii) the processing of visual stimuli in the thalamocortical system of mammals.
The simulation tools NEURON and NEST will be used for class-I and class-II neuron and network models, respectively. These tools will be developed and adapted to facilitate the optimization of neuron (NEURON) and network models (NEST) against experimental data or models at different levels of detail. Further, a user interface for NEST that allows for use by nonexpert modellers and experimentalists will be developed.
The project will also establish a vibrant, internationally oriented neuroinformatics environment in the Oslo region centered at UiO and UMB.