Journal article

The neocortical microcircuit collaboration portal: a resource for rat somatosensory cortex

We have established a multi-constraint, data-driven process to digitally reconstruct, and simulate prototypical neocortical microcircuitry, using sparse experimental data. We applied this process to reconstruct the microcircuitry of the somatosensory cortex in juvenile rat at the cellular and synaptic levels. The resulting reconstruction is broadly consistent with current knowledge about the neocortical microcircuit and provides an array of predictions on its structure and function. To engage the community in exploring, challenging, and refining the reconstruction, we have developed a collaborative, internet-accessible facility—the Neocortical Microcircuit Collaboration portal (NMC portal; The NMC portal allows users to access the experimental data used in the reconstruction process, download cellular and synaptic models, and analyze the predicted properties of the microcircuit: six layers, ∼31,000 neurons, 55 morphological types, 11 electrical types, 207 morpho-electrical types, 1941 unique synaptic connection types between neurons of specific morphological types, predicted properties for the anatomy and physiology of ∼ 40 million intrinsic synapses. It also provides data supporting comparison of the anatomy and physiology of the reconstructed microcircuit against results in the literature. The portal aims to catalyze consensus on the cellular and synaptic organization of neocortical microcircuitry (ion channel, neuron and synapse types and distributions, connectivity, etc.). Community feedback will contribute to refined versions of the reconstruction to be released periodically. We consider that the reconstructions and the simulations they enable represent a major step in the development of in silico neuroscience.

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