Visualizing neuronal network connectivity with connectivity pattern tables
Department of Mathematical Sciences and Technology, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway
Center for Biomedical Computing, Simula Research Laboratory, Lysaker, Norway
RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Wako-shi, Saitama, Japan
Complex ideas are best conveyed through well-designed illustrations. Up to now, computational neuroscientists have mostly relied on box-and-arrow diagrams of even complex neuronal networks, often using ad hoc notations with conflicting use of symbols from paper to paper. This significantly impedes the communication of ideas in neuronal network modeling. We present here Connectivity Pattern Tables (CPTs) as a clutter-free visualization of connectivity in large neuronal networks containing two-dimensional populations of neurons. CPTs can be generated automatically from the same script code used to create the actual network in the NEST simulator. Through aggregation, CPTs can be viewed at different levels, providing either full detail or summary information. We also provide the open source ConnPlotter tool as a means to create connectivity pattern tables.