Cyber-workstation for computational neuroscience

Jack DiGiovanna, Prapaporn Rattanatamrong, Ming Zhao, Babak Mahmoudi, Linda Hermer, Renato Figueiredo, Jose C. Principe, Jose Fortes, Justin C. Sanchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A Cyber-Workstation (CW) to study in vivo, real-time interactions between computational models and large-scale brain subsystems during behavioral experiments has been designed and implemented. The design philosophy seeks to directly link the in vivo neurophysiology laboratory with scalable computing resources to enable more sophisticated computational neuroscience investigation. The architecture designed here allows scientists to develop new models and integrate them with existing models (e.g. recursive least-squares regressor) by specifying appropriate connections in a block-diagram. Then, adaptive middleware transparently implements these user specifi cations using the full power of remote grid-computing hardware. In effect, the middleware deploys an on-demand and fl exible neuroscience research test-bed to provide the neurophysiology laboratory extensive computational power from an outside source. The CW consolidates distributed software and hardware resources to support time-critical and/or resource-demanding computing during data collection from behaving animals. This power and fl exibility is important as experimental and theoretical neuroscience evolves based on insights gained from data-intensive experiments, new technologies and engineering methodologies. This paper describes briefl y the computational infrastructure and its most relevant components. Each component is discussed within a systematic process of setting up an in vivo, neuroscience experiment. Furthermore, a co-adaptive brain machine interface is implemented on the CW to illustrate how this integrated computational and experimental platform can be used to study systems neurophysiology and learning in a behavior task. We believe this implementation is also the fi rst remote execution and adaptation of a brain-machine interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number17
JournalFrontiers in Neuroengineering
Issue numberJAN
StatePublished - Jan 20 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain-machine interface
  • Cyber-workstation
  • Distributed parallel processing
  • Real-time computational neuroscience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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