Technical integration of hippocampus, basal ganglia and physical models for spatial navigation

Charles Fox, Mark Humphries, Ben Mitchinson, Tamas Kiss, Zoltan Somogyvari, Tony Prescott

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Computational neuroscience is increasingly moving beyond modeling individual neurons or neural systems to consider the integration of multiple models, often constructed by different research groups. We report on our preliminary technical integration of recent hippocampal formation, basal ganglia and physical environment models, together with visualisation tools, as a case study in the use of Python across the modelling tool-chain. We do not present new modeling results here. The architecture incorporates leaky-integrator and rate-coded neurons, a 3D environment with collision detection and tactile sensors, 3D graphics and 2D plots. We found Python to be a flexible platform, offering a significant reduction in development time, without a corresponding significant increase in execution time. We illustrate this by implementing a part of the model in various alternative languages and coding styles, and comparing their execution times. For very large-scale system integration, communication with other languages and parallel execution may be required, which we demonstrate using the BRAHMS framework's Python bindings. © 2009 Fox, Humphries, Mitchinson, Kiss, Somogyvari and Prescott.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number6
    JournalFrontiers in neuroinformatics
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2009


    • Basal ganglia
    • BRAHMS
    • Hippocampus
    • Place cells
    • Plus-maze
    • Python
    • Spatial navigation


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