Building multiscale brain models

Understanding brain function requires characterizing the interactions occurring across many temporal and spatial scales. Mechanistic multiscale modeling aims to organize and explore these interactions to determine how dynamics at one scale alter or are associated with dynamics at other scales. In this way, multiscale models provide insights into how changes at molecular and cellular levels, caused by development, learning, brain disease, drugs, or other factors, affect the dynamics of local networks and of brain areas.

NetPyNE is a software tool to develop, run parallel simulations and analyse data-driven multiscale models using the NEURON simulator. Users can provide specifications at a high level via a standardized declarative language (e.g. specifying the probability of a connection instead of millions of explicit cell-to-cell connections), which facilitates integrating experimental data at many scales. All this functionality is available programmatically or via graphical interface, making the tool accessible to a wide audience. The tool is being used in several labs across the world to simulate different brain regions and phenomena.

MetaCell, world leaders in software for neuroscience, hosted a free, open webinar to present NetPyNE and demo the latest developments in multiscale modelling. The session is moderated by Matteo Cantarelli, CTO of MetaCell, and Salvador DurĂ¡-Bernal, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, who is Principal Investigator in three research grants and has published 24 peer-reviewed papers covering computational neuroscience, bioinformatics, robotics and machine learning fields.

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