So after thinking about my diagram of the Cochlear Nuclei for quite some time, I'm definitely not happy with it. While I have used similar diagrams to help create The List, I'm not sure they are the best way to represent the information I am trying to provide. For starters they take a long time to produce and allow for too many mistakes to be made, e.g. I misaligned a synapse in the AVCN:
My main concern with this sort of diagram is clarity, for people familiar with them, they are easy enough to follow. However, I think they would be difficult to trace for those new to neuroscience.
I also hated having to duplicate colours for neurons in the different nuclei. The solution to this would be to use different shades, but I didn't think that would help with clarity. I also didn't want to end up using 50 shades of purple.
Improvements to make:
As this type of diagram gets larger and ever more complicated, I think a new way to present this information needs to be developed. Since there are 100's of nuclei within the brain and only 3 Cochlear Nuclei.
So I plan to alter this diagram (or make a new one) to make it interactive, where neurons are presented in the same colour and highlighted when hovering over the key, or a neuron. Hopefully, the pre and post synaptic neurons will also be highlighted, possibly with a little info box, or a link to the relevant page on neuronbank.org.
If I want to share this on the website, it appears learning html5 is going to be the best way to develop the diagram, possibly combined with Data Driven Documentation. Therefore, this is going to take some time as I have no experience in coding.