RatInABox, a toolkit for modelling locomotion and neuronal activity in continuous environments

ELIFE(2024)

Cited 0|Views30
No score
Abstract
Generating synthetic locomotory and neural data is a useful yet cumbersome step commonly required to study theoretical models of the brain's role in spatial navigation. This process can be time consuming and, without a common framework, makes it difficult to reproduce or compare studies which each generate test data in different ways. In response, we present RatInABox, an open-source Python toolkit designed to model realistic rodent locomotion and generate synthetic neural data from spatially modulated cell types. This software provides users with (i) the ability to construct one- or two-dimensional environments with configurable barriers and visual cues, (ii) a physically realistic random motion model fitted to experimental data, (iii) rapid online calculation of neural data for many of the known self-location or velocity selective cell types in the hippocampal formation (including place cells, grid cells, boundary vector cells, head direction cells) and (iv) a framework for constructing custom cell types, multi-layer network models and data- or policy-controlled motion trajectories. The motion and neural models are spatially and temporally continuous as well as topographically sensitive to boundary conditions and walls. We demonstrate that out-of-the-box parameter settings replicate many aspects of rodent foraging behaviour such as velocity statistics and the tendency of rodents to over-explore walls. Numerous tutorial scripts are provided, including examples where RatInABox is used for decoding position from neural data or to solve a navigational reinforcement learning task. We hope this tool will significantly streamline computational research into the brain's role in navigation.
More
Translated text
Key words
hippocampus,locomotion,neural data,trajectory,software,open source
AI Read Science
Must-Reading Tree
Example
Generate MRT to find the research sequence of this paper
Chat Paper
Summary is being generated by the instructions you defined