Sean Fannon (Professor of Psychology and we think coiner of the phrase “arduineuron”) and I have been kicking around ideas for a project consisting of 3D printed neurons and LEDs, all controlled by Arduino. It’s early stage, but I was able to get a little prototype up, using this model of a neuron (CC BY-NC-SA by speborde) and this Arduino sketch/schematic from spikee.io. The neuron starts firing (indicated by the pulsing of the LED) as the potentiometer is rolled up.
The general idea is to create an interactive network of these for use in the Psychology classroom.
Using the prototype above as a starting point, Sean and I sat down to further define the project.
Next steps include securing some electronics, and designing and printing some snap-together dendrite interfaces. I’m also in conversations with Jennifer Kraemer (Professor of Early Childhood Education) to see if we can find a way to also demonstrate the concept of myelination, which Jennifer talks about in her Child Development courses. This neuron project might also come into play. Interdisciplinary goodness!