Neurons are electrically excitable cells, which are the primary building blocks of the central nervous system.

There is an astounding diversity in their anatomical and physiological features. Neurons receive, process, and transmit information through electrochemical signals that are exchanged at specialized contact points called synapses. Blue Brain has developed cutting-edge methods to model and simulate the structure and function of the wide variety of neurons to understand how they govern information processing in the brain.

Rat Somatosensory Cortex

Together with the publication of a digital reconstruction of the microcircuitry of juvenile Rat somatosensory cortex (Markram et al, 2015, Cell), the Blue Brain made 1035 biophysically detailed electrical models of single neurons available for download. Every model also contains the synapses at the exact locations as they are used in the microcircuit model. Downloadable packages are available on the Blue Brain NMC Portal website and can be run locally on a personal computer.

Mouse Somatosensory Cortex

To build a mouse somatosensory cortex microcircuit, the biophysically detailed electrical models developed for the Allen Brain Institute – Blue Brain Project collaboration were adapted to be used in morphologies that were scaled to match the size of mouse neurons. The 941 electrical cell models used in this first draft release of the microcircuit is part of the Blue Brain collaboration with the Human Brain Project consortium. They are available on the EBRAINS Cellular Level Simulation Platform.

Mouse Visual Cortex

The Allen Institute for Brain Science has released a set of 107 computer models of neurons from the mouse visual cortex, created using tools developed by the Blue Brain Project. Using Blue Brain technology, the researchers were able to reproduce the physiology and electrical activity of the neurons with an extremely high level of detail.

All the models developed in this collaboration are downloadable from the Allen Brain Institute website by selecting the ‘All-active Biophysical models’ checkbox.

Rat Hippocampus CA1

The multi-compartmental models of adult rat hippocampus neurons were constrained through the use of reconstructed morphologies, recorded electrophysiological traces, and automated parameter optimization (Van Geit et al 2016). The models were subsequently validated for emergent properties as post-synaptic potential attenuation and back-propagating action potential (Migliore et al., 2018). These rat models are part of the Blue Brain collaboration with the Human Brain Project consortium. They are available on the Hippocampus Hub.