NeuronCAD

Other approaches to using NEURON in neuroscience education.
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azylbertal
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:37 am

NeuronCAD

Post by azylbertal » Mon May 30, 2016 5:10 pm

Hi,

Besides using NEURON with Python for my research, it's also an excellent tool for educational purposes (it's a shame the traffic in this part of the forum is so low...).
As a part of my work in the university public outreach I am developing NeuronCAD - a simple GUI for creating and simulating neuronal networks, including sensory neurons that respond to real physical signals (using a USB camera and IR distance sensor) and motor neurons that can drive actual motors. So far it worked great for teaching basic neuroscience to high school students and also helped me re-think some of the basics.

It uses NEURON at its core - for the time being just simple point HH neurons connected by alpha synapses, but that might change in the future. It can be run on any Linux machine (or windows, without the camera), but should be run on a Raspberry Pi for the motors and IR distance sensor.

A video demo can be found here: https://youtu.be/vx5QH23PIk8
For source code and additional information visit: https://bitbucket.org/azylbertal/neuroncad/

I would appropriate any feedback and ideas, as well as help spreading the word.

Thanks,

Asaph

bll5z6
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 10:27 am

Re: NeuronCAD

Post by bll5z6 » Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:48 pm

This is really cool! I'm a PhD student in a lab where we use NEURON to teach neuroscience and we also do robotics outreach. I'm finding the info at the bitbucket site hard to follow.. how would I go about installing the software on a windows machine?

azylbertal
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:37 am

Re: NeuronCAD

Post by azylbertal » Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:44 pm

Sorry for the late answer, I wasn't aware that I'm not subscribed to my topics by default...
I'm glad you find it interesting.
Indeed the bitbucket page isn't very friendly yet. I haven't tried running it on a Windows machine, since the main objective was to use the Raspberry Pi to control a robot with motors and sensors. The core functionality should work on Windows with neuron+ python and pygame installed. The camera and mic wouldn't work because they use linux-specific elements (for the time being), and naturally no motor control will be available.
I'll try to get it to work and post some detailed instructions.

Best

azylbertal
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:37 am

Re: NeuronCAD

Post by azylbertal » Tue Dec 13, 2016 2:09 am

In order to run on a Windows machine:

1. Download and install Python 2.7
2. Add the /Python27 and Python27/scripts directories to the PATH environment variable. See http://pythoncentral.io/add-python-to-p ... l-command/
3. From the command line install pygame, pyneuron and numpy:
pip install pygame
pip install pyneuron
pip install numpy
4. Download and extract the BitBucket repository, navigate to its directory and run: python neuroncad.py

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