Researching the Nervous System Using Artificial Simulation

May 21, 2009

Researchers from the University of Granada in Spain have developed a program that can simulate the entire nervous system or individual components.

Can you imagine having the ability to use an artificial simulator of the nervous system to research neurological disorders? Researchers from the University of Granada in Spain have made this possible by creating an Event-Driven LookUp Table-based simulator (EDLUT) that can simulate the entire nervous system or individual components. This simulator enables the researchers “to analyze and understand the functions of the nervous centers, to do research into new pathologies and diseases or test new medicines.” It can also assist in the improvement of robots and machines that are developed based on the nervous system.

Compared to other simulators, EDLUT is much more advanced, as it can deal with hundreds of thousands of neurons at the same time based on its ability to compile the behavior of neurons during the first stage, enabling it to simulate medium- and large-scale systems. Eduardo Ros Vidal, professor at the University of Granada, said, “This fact means an essential technological advance and indisputably affects the quality of nervous simulation.”

There is a huge advantage for researchers to use EDLUT because it is a free software program that can be downloaded off the Internet at http://code.google.com/p/edlut. By offering easy access to the software, EDLUT has been called “an innovative version with regard to other simulators such as NEURON and GENESIS.”