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image size: 6.9MB
Made with VND

Modern neuroscience is undergoing a profound evolution due to systematic efforts that provide large, comprehensive datasets on properties of brain cells, their connectivity, and activity. Converting these widening streams of complex data into new knowledge via analysis and modeling is a major challenge for the field. This rendering of a model of the mouse primary visual cortex (V1) with a Neuropixels probe was awarded 2nd Prize in the 2021 NIH BRAIN Initiative "Show Us Your BRAINs!" Photo and Video Contest. The image was created with new software created at the Center: Visual Neuronal Dynamics VND — based on the Center's powerful VMD software, and produced in collaboration with the Allen Institute. The VND software performs visualization of bio-realisitc 3D neuronal network models and aims to provide efficient workflows for large and complex systems of thousands of neurons and beyond. VND integrates the SONATA format, which is used by the Brain Modeling Toolkit (BMTK), with the existing powerful visualization capabilities of VMD to provide a platform for user-friendly, flexible, and highly efficient visualization of bio-realistic neuronal network models and simulations. The initial version of VND reads SONATA file data, displays a new neuroscience-specific interactive GUI, and creates neuronal network visualizations for both exploratory visualization and for generating publication-quality figures for research manuscripts. (This image and VND were highighted in an August 2021 blog post by NIH Director Francis Collins.)