Interim report on olfactory modeling

x011 at ns1.CC.Lehigh.EDU x011 at ns1.CC.Lehigh.EDU
Sun Jan 8 20:15:59 EST 1995

In article <3ep218$8ur at>, herwin at (HARRY R. ERWIN) wri
>Paul Bush (paul at wrote:
>: Why are you writing your own simulator rather than using, for example,
>: NEURON, written by Michael Hines? This simulator has been refined over
>: several years and solves many of the problems encountered when writing
>: your own. It uses very fast and efficient numerical integration routines;
>: My model of 100 9-compartment cortical neurons connected at a density of
>: 10% simulates 500 ms in 9 minutes of CPU time on a MIPS 3000. Its
>: modular nature allows the easy addition of arbitrary processes such
>: as the graded/electical synapses you mention. It has an Interviews front
>: end for graphical display, control and online modification of the
>: simulation.
>: To produce a simulator as good as NEURON you would need to spend
>: several years programming and testing - that time would be better spent
>: doing the actual simulations. In addition users of NEURON share their
>: simulation code, giving you access to many types of ion channels, synapses
>: etc.
>: You can ftp NEURON from
>: Paul
>Why my own model? Three reasons, really. First, have you ever tried to
>port NEURON to a Mac (my initial development machine)? 8( Second, I needed
>to roll my own synaptic models, and it was easier if I didn't have to
>learn a model at the same time. Third, I regarded putting together my own
>model before using someone else's to be a very valuable learning
>experience. I'll probably use GENESIS from here on out, but doing my own
>taught me a lot about why explicit codes don't work well and about how to
>adapt the existing tools to my own needs. I recommend this path (building
>a throw-away model or two first) to any graduate student who is serious
>about modeling the neural system.
>Harry Erwin
>Internet: herwin at
I support Harry statement on making an effort to write your own
model.  The insight gain in understanding how simple computer code
allows the computer to model behavior may be helpful in understanding
the complexity of how real nervous system may work.

I have discussed the possiblity of building a frequency modulation
computer system with my electronic friends.  They usually agree that
it can be done but can not imagine why one would want to waste
one's time doing so.  The frequency modulation concept may be
more useful in understanding how the brain works.  If we have
no real physical models to gain insight from then this may
restrict our development in understanding neural functions.
Ron Blue

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