The nervous system is an active multidisciplinary research line where, thanks to modern computer neuroscience techniques, it is possible to model and analyse the complex process of the brain, for example, using simulation models, such as the Homeostatic Structural Plasticity Model (HSPM), that is based in the key idea of the neuronal homeostatic equilibrium, where the neurons need to maintain a desired level of electrical activity, deleting synapses when neuronal activity is too high and providing new synaptic contacts when activity is too low. This simulation model generates a big amount of information, very difficult to analyse through traditional methods such as tabular data. To ease this task, this tool apply a novel visualisation technique based on the representation of the neuronal information through the use of abstract levels and a set of views composed by schematic representations on each level. This hierarchical representations allow users interact and select the appropriate representation according to the task to achieve, modifying the degree of detail of the information to be analysed in an simple and intuitive way, through the navigation of different views at different levels of abstraction. Each view represents only the variables related to the desired tasks, avoiding overwhelming saturation of information. The multilevel structure and the design of the representations constitutes an approach that provides organized views that facilitates visual analysis tasks.
MSPViz has been released as open source project (under GPL3.0 license). You can access to this tool with the next link:
This work has been partially supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Grants TIN2014-57481 and BFU2013-41533R, and the Cajal Blue Brain Project C080020-09, the Spanish partner of the Blue Brain initiative from EPFL) and by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no. 604102 (Human Brain Project).