Introduction to NeuralCAD
NeuralCAD provides simulations and models of regions of the human brain.

Introduction to NeuralCAD




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Introduction


NeuralCAD provides simulations and models of regions of the human brain. It allows visualization and tracking of signals traveling between neurons. The tool allows for layered viewing of the brain with seperational transparency for easy visualization of the neural components.



Modeling


The modeling capabilities of NeuralCAD allow you to select a region of the brain from a list of neural regions organized by biological hierarchy. Once selected, you can then select to view the region inside the 3D brain model. This will allow you to zoom in and out and view the region from any angle. You can view the region as well as other regions that connect with it to see the interconnectivity of the neural region. Each area of the 3D model has display options like setting transparency, showing its information label, and displaying a bounding box for volume approximations. The information label displays description information of the capabilities and characteristics of this region.

Neural Network view is another modeling capability of NeuralCAD. Once a neural region has been selected, the Neural Network view becomes available. In Neural Network view, you will see interconnected spherical nodes which represent each neuron within the region. Each neuron can be selected to see more detailed information as well as other neurons this neuron is connected to both upstream and downstream of the neural signal. The entire network architecture can be viewed, zoomed in and out of, and pan to great a view of the network from multiple angles.

Neuron view is available from Neural Network view. By clicking on one of the nodes in the neural network, a neuron view window can be launched. In Neuron view, you can manipulate a 3D model that can be zoomed and panned to view it from multiple angles. Each area of the neuron can be viewed and information labels can be viewed. Next to the 3D model is an information panel which displays neuron data such as neuron type, neuron status, and neural firing patterns.

Neural Network view and Neuron view are both used in the simulation capabilities of NeuralCAD.





Simulation


Scenarios, Simulations & Neural TimeStates

NeuralCAD provides human brain simulations. Each simulation starts by defining a scenario that creates the initial conditions for each neuron in the brain simulation. By default, when a NeuralCAD project is created, one scenario called BaseScenario is automatically created with it. The BaseScenario neurons can be edited by first selecting the scenario for view and then selecting a neural region and launching its neural network. Each node in the neural network can be selected and the neuron window will open where the neuron initial conditions can be view and edited. Once the initial conditions are all set, a simulation can be created.

In the Scenarios and Simulations window, there is an option to create a new simulation based on each defined scenario. A simulation name can be entered and the number of time states to simulate can be set. A time state is the smallest unit of time that each neurons state can be simulated. The more time states, the longer the simulation, as well as the amount of processing time it will take to create the simulation. Once a new simulation is create, it will take some time for its processing to be complete. A progress bar will be shown next to the new simulation that will show the percentage of completion. Once the simulation is at 100% complete, you will have the option to play the simulation, as well as open the simulation and view the individual timestates that the simulation holds. Each timestate can be selected and the states of all the neurons can be viewed for this timestate. If you selected to play the simulation, each timestate in the simulation will be selected in order till they have all been cycled though.

To view the simulation data that each timestate holds, you can use the Neural Network view and the Neuron view. By first selecting the neural region you want to view, you can open the Neural Network view and Neuron view that will display each neurons states for the current selected timestate. If you have hit to play the simulation, you can watch in simulation time the neurons firing between each other. You can also directly watch a neuron more closely in Neuron view to see detailed information on the neurons state.

New scenarios can be created at any time. To create a new scenario, click the Add Scenario button in the Scenarios and Simulations window. A new window will open which present the option to either create a new scenario based on an already existing scenario or to use the currently selected timestate as a new scenario. If a particular timestate is showing an area of interesting behavior, you can isolate it and start a new simulation with the ability to adjust the initial conditions based on this timestate data.

Feedback System

While a simulation plays, or single timestate is selected, feedback can be input or output to/from a simulated human body within a simulated environment. As input, you can select individual pixels of the visual system that the human body has to view its environment. The pixel input can be mapped to an individual neurons in a neural network so that it will add a certain percentage to the firing weight of the neuron. There is also physical movement actions that can take output from the individual neurons to make a decision to move in a certain direction or turn in the simulated environment. The physical movement will then change what the visual system is looking at which will sets up a feedback look of inputs and outputs into the neurons of the neural networks in the simulation.





Community Projects


NeuralCAD projects can be set to be shared with the Neural Mimetics community. Shared projects can be copied by other users which will allow for collaboration on neural network model development. Shared projects can be searched for by name, description, or user name by using the "Download Shared Simulation" menu button under Community in the application.

Scripting


NeuralCAD has a command window as well as a script window. Javascript can be used in either of these windows to make calls to the NeuralCAD API to alter projects. The NeuralCAD API contains a library of functions that will allow you to programmatically setup and run simulations. The scripts are saved with the project so they can be recalled anytime the project is opened. Sharing of scripts between other users is possible by making the project a shared project.

Data Management


All data generated by the simulations of a NeuralCAD project is processed and stored in the cloud. When simulations become processing intensive, the project will allocate more servers to speed of processing time. All data for the simulations are stored and backed up in the cloud. This allows for large simulations to be processed as well as being able to access your project data for anywhere.


How to create a new NeuralCAD project

NeuralCAD is a development platform used developing creating nanomachines and nanostructures. It provides a listing of particles which can be selected and dragged onto a nano development testbed. Once on the development testbed, the particles can be placed and used to create structures and devices on the nanoscale. The interaction between particles is simulated within the test bed. The tool will ensure the stability of the structure of device created.

How to load an existing NeuralCAD project

NeuralCAD is a development platform used developing creating nanomachines and nanostructures. It provides a listing of particles which can be selected and dragged onto a nano development testbed. Once on the development testbed, the particles can be placed and used to create structures and devices on the nanoscale. The interaction between particles is simulated within the test bed. The tool will ensure the stability of the structure of device created.


How to you snap to grid?

NeuralCAD is a development platform used developing creating nanomachines and nanostructures. It provides a listing of particles which can be selected and dragged onto a nano development testbed. Once on the development testbed, the particles can be placed and used to create structures and devices on the nanoscale. The interaction between particles is simulated within the test bed. The tool will ensure the stability of the structure of device created.


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