Computer Core

Collaborative Computational Infrastructure
Mulitple Investigators

The computer core will enhance the interaction of the four individual projects in the CCNR by providing general resources for computer programming, systems management and data storage. The multi-unit recording studies proposed in Projects #2 and #3 and the fMRI studies proposed in Project #1 all result in very large data sets, and the computational modeling in Project #4 produces similarly large simulation output files. The ability to safely and reliably store, backup, access and transfer data is an integral component of all of the projects which will greatly facilitate the analysis of data within the experimental projects, and the comparison of data between experiments and with the experimental predictions from computational simulations. Currently, the experimental projects are impeded by limitations on data storage requiring the removal of files produced by intermediate stages of analysis, and the comparison of data sets is impeded by the separation of networks and data formats between laboratories. A full time systems operator will greatly facilitate the maintenance of adequate storage and the network mechanisms for interaction between projects. In addition, there is a strong need for a full-time programmer to provide software development for enhancing research interactions including:

  1. Translation of experimental data and simulation output to a common data format
  2. Development of common data analysis software to be used by all projects performing similar analysis, such as analysis of spike timing relative to theta rhythm oscillations
  3. Development of unified software for presentation of data and model output in the same format
  4. Development and maintenance of common scripts in MATLAB and CATACOMB for simulation of hippocampus, entorhinal cortex and prefrontal cortex
  5. Assistance with programming of data collection and behavioral tasks for individual projects.
The development of unified data formats, analysis programs and simulations scripts will provide fundamental resources for the outreach and data sharing of this center, made available on the center web site. Thus, the computer core will enhance the synergistic interaction of the four projects within the center, and the interaction with the scientific community.

Participating Institutions:
Boston University Center for Memory and Brain Department of Biomedical Engineering Department of Mathematics