A Data Driven Neural Network

Data Driven Network Diagrams.

Anyone "following" this website will probably be thinking I've given up and wandered off. It feels like a long time since I've managed to add any new content. But, I've been learning to use javascript to create diagrams with the data I've been collecting over the last few months. This has allowed me to create a neural network diagram from the relatively simple connectivity data.

This has been made a lot easier with the aid of the D3 library and the many questions that have been asked and answered by D3 users on stackoverflow. So, what have I created, below is a static image that shows connections between the cells of the Cochlear and the Cochlear Nuclei in the brainstem.


Data-driven neural diagram
Connections between sensory cells of the cochlear and the cochlear nuclei.




Adding Interactivity.

Obviously interactivity in this sort of diagram is useful and the d3 library allows for near endless creativity when it comes to interactivity.

Unfortunately due to the vagaries of WordPress, it is not easy to add that interactivity to this site. So an interactive version, with script can be found at bl.ocks.org/OMHouston. Currently, I have only added mouse-over functions to display information about the cells/locations and to highlight cells linked to a given cell. In future it would probably be better to pull up some extra information, possibly "on-click", either as a separate page, or in a box below the diagram. Or it could just link to Wikipedia, as I don't want to duplicate the work done there.

Any suggestions for future improvements would be great, I'd like to add graphics and some further interactivity, but am currently working on drawing the data from a database and want to keep it simple until several areas can be drawn from the database.