The major aim of the project is to develop a comprehensive model of the olfactory pathway as a paradigm for basic steps in sensory processing. The model will be based on a shared database consisting of multidisciplinary experimental data from molecular biology, neuroanatomy, electrophysiology, and pharmacology. The goal will be to use this data to construct compartmental models of the fundamental steps involved in processing in the sensory pathway, including sensory transduction, the formation of topographical maps, the functions of modular units, and the operations of synaptic microcircuits, and to use these as the basis for a network model of the entire system. Enabling technologies for effectively interconnecting a diverse group of laboratories and enhancing their ability to format and exchange data are needed at three levels: (1) data exchange between different laboratories currently working on similar problems; (2) formatting and integrating data from different disciplines into a shared database; and (3) new formats for the shared database and associated integrative tools that will facilitate more efficient data exchange and model construction.The enabling technologies involve three networked groups: the core laboratory of the principal investigator; local area nets that tie his laboratory to several Yale laboratories; and distant electronic collaborations and collaborators. A major component of this project is the close collaboration of a recognized center for informatics research at Yale.
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