Session 407 – Cortical Planning and Execution: Animal Neurophysiology 
407.01 / DP09/LL2 – An open database of cat neuronal activity

November 13, 2017, 1:00 – 5:00 PM Halls A-C

Poster Type: Dynamic Poster
Presenter at Poster: Mon, Nov. 13, 2017, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Session Type: Poster
Grant Support: Barrow Neurological Foundation, a group of private donors 


1Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ; 2Neurobio., Barrow Neurolog. Inst., Phoenix, AZ

Abstract: The cat is one of the best researched higher vertebrates. It is a model animal for studies of several common diseases. Except for the frontal lobes, cat brain is quite similar to the brain of primates. It is well studied but yet little understood. To promote understanding of the brain in general, we have created an open database of cat brain neuronal activity during various behaviors to allow all interested parties to search and analyze available cat brain data.

We formed a back-end system that utilizes the existing front-end functionality of WordPress, an open-source content management system, which is based on PHP scripting language and also uses an attached SQL relational database management system. We have merged that SQL with our custom MySQL database to act as our main data repository. With our interface and general functions, such as file-uploading, being handled by WordPress, we focused on modifying the system to make it better tailored to our requirements. We created a series of custom plugins, themes, scripts and widgets to allow for: (i) unique multi-data-point searching first through “AND” and then “OR”, (ii) varied searches that use both user-created and system-generated tags; (iii) increased data variety and consistency, with full data manipulation; and (iv) an administration layer, which allows admins to approve and monitor users.

In this dynamic poster, we will demonstrate the central features of the database: general searching, easy access to data, and data management. We will perform sample searches in response to attendees’ requests. By the time of the meeting, the database will contain ~500 GB of data on single neuron activity in the cat motor cortex and motor thalamus during overground locomotion with and without obstacles. Both raw and processed records will be available. Neuron identification, including data on axonal projections and conduction properties obtained in live subjects will be available. Approximate location of cell bodies within the structure determined by histology will be available. All data will be accompanied with behavioral data on task performance.

The cat brain database is started with data on locomotion collected in the laboratory of Dr. Beloozerova since 2000 as a part of NIH funded research. Later, data on cat brain activity during treadmill locomotion, balancing, and scratching will be added. Three-dimensional kinematic data on all behaviors will be added. The database is open to other laboratories for depositing their data on cat brain activity and body biomechanics. By making the data publicly available we seek to facilitate further research of the cat brain, which ultimately will lead to better understanding of human brain.

Disclosures: I.A. Nall: None. I. Braverman: None. J.T. Goodroad: None. F. Flores: None. F. Johnson: None. A. Rivard: None. I.N. Beloozerova: None.