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Saturday, July 18 • 4:00pm - 7:00pm
Tools and techniques to bridge the gap between models and closed-loop neuroscience experiments

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Pablo Varona, Manuel Reyes Sanchez , Rodrigo Amaducci 

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T3: Models in computational neuroscience are typically used to reproduce and explain experimental findings, to draw new hypotheses from their predictive power, to undertake the low observability of the brain, etc. However, computational models can also be employed to interact directly with living nervous systems, which is a powerful way of unveiling key neural dynamics by combining experimental and theoretical efforts. However, protocols that simultaneously combine recordings from living neurons and input/outputs from computational models are not easy to design or implement. In this tutorial, we will describe several tools and techniques to build such kind of open and closed-loop interactions: from basic dynamic-clamp approaches to build hybrid circuits to more complex configurations that can include several interacting living and artificial elements. We will emphasize the need of open-source real-time software technology for some of these interactions.

In particular, we will focus on two software packages that can implement closed-loop interactions between living neurons and computational neuroscience models. The first one, RTHybrid, is a solution to build hybrid circuits between living neurons and models. This program, developed by the organizers, includes a library of neuron and synapse models and different algorithms for the automatic calibration and adaptation of hybrid configurations. The second software tool, RTXI, allows to program specific modules to implement a wide variety of closed-loop configurations and includes many handy modularization and visualization tools. Both programs can be used in very wide contexts of hybrid experimental design and deal with real-time constraints. During the tutorial, we will show how to install and use these programs in standard computer platforms, and we will provide attendees the possibility of building and testing their first designs.

Software tools
Important: for the practical part of the tutorial, please download beforehand the latest RTXI version from http://rtxi.org/install/. It is not necessary to install it in your computer for this tutorial, you can just create a live-USB and boot from the live image following the instructions on the web or install it on a virtual machine.


Also, please download RTHybrid modules for RTXI from https://github.com/GNB-UAM/rthybrid-for-rtxi and install them following the instructions.

avatar for Pablo Varona

Pablo Varona

Professor, Grupo de Neurocomputación Biológica. Escuela Politécnica Superior. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
avatar for Rodrigo Amaducci

Rodrigo Amaducci

PhD Student, Grupo de Neurocomputación Biológica (GNB), Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
avatar for Manuel Reyes-Sanchez

Manuel Reyes-Sanchez

PhD Student, Grupo de Neurocomputacion Biologica, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid
Hybrid circuits, closed-loop, computational neuroscience, machine learning.

Saturday July 18, 2020 4:00pm - 7:00pm CEST
Link (T3)