Didactic models

The basics of how to develop, test, and use models.
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Ginetto
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:50 am

Didactic models

Post by Ginetto »

Hello folk,

I am a beginner in programming and Neuron. I started with some tutorials found here and now I am reading the Neuron Book.
I think that the next step could be reading and understand some models, but the models I found in tutorials are too simple and the ones in the modelDB are still too complicated for me! I am looking for a middle course, especially models of single neurons with a good morphology and channels, but without other mechanisms.
Thanks a lot.

Armando
ted
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Re: Didactic models

Post by ted »

So you face two problems: learning how to develop & debug software, and learning how to use NEURON. Almost all of what you find at http://www.neuron.yale.edu/ is about the latter--the former is scarcely addressed at all. The Forum has some advice for beginners in
Suggestions for how to develop models
and
Help for the total beginner

The problem with most code is that it contains a mix of good and bad--and it can be very hard for a beginner to discern which is which. Stick with what you find in the Documentation section of www.neuron.yale.edu, and what you see in "articles about NEURON," and you won't learn bad habits.

You might find Software Carpentry http://software-carpentry.org/ to be a useful way to start to learn how to program. Its examples and exercises are all in Python, but the underlying principles that it teaches are generic.
Ginetto
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:50 am

Didactic models

Post by Ginetto »

Thanks for your replay and your useful suggestions.

Actually I didn't mention an important point. For a new project in my lab, I am going to use a model (already posted in modelDB) and modify it for our purposes. As I said I am studying tutorials and the neuron book, but I have still problems reading and understanding this model.
I wish to become able to read the program and then think about how to modify it.
I understand that comprehending a code and making a new code are two sides of the same coin, anyway at the moment the first "side" remains the main target.
For this reason I am looking for simplier models just to practise on them.
ted
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Re: Didactic models

Post by ted »

Readability and understandability of source code are almost always problematical. Fortunately, the Model View tool (see tutorial on NEURON's Documentation page) simplifies the task of discovering what is actually in a model cell.
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