Research Wrapup

Overall, my research project was a project that I found very engaging and rewarding. To have started with absolutely nothing, and to have by the end coded a functioning Antennal Lobe is an immensely rewarding achievement.

 

Looking back, there are many aspects of the research that were rather challenging. For instance, writing the actual code was relatively simple, but checking if the code was performing as expected was much more challenging. The neuron model itself was a relatively complex hierarchy, where each layer of the pyramid grew larger in scale. In the base, for example, so many neurons were performing independent calculations and sending signal to other neurons that it would have been very difficult to ensure that each component was performing correctly. We simply had to test as comprehensively as we could without sacrificing too much time on trivial tests for correctness.

 

Additionally, we were confronted by the age old challenge that all scientists face: creating convincing, informative figures. Our model produced so much information, that it was very important to sort through the data and only take the information that was most important or most telling of the overall dynamics. This created a trade off in showing information, as if we wanted to show great detail, we could generally only show it for one neuron. On the other hand, if we wanted to view dynamics across the whole system, the figures would have to be of relatively less detail.

 

Overall, there were many challenges but the entire research process was an incredibly rewarding one. With the model now complete, I look forward to continuing this research throughout the year as we begin to attempt to answer many of the questions surrounding sensory integration.

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