Using the d_lambda Rule

The d_lambda rule is built into the CellBuilder and is available by clicking on a checkbox–see the CellBuilder tutorial.

If you don’t use the GUI, you can still use the d_lambda rule. Just save this code

/* Sets nseg in each section to an odd value
    so that its segments are no longer than
        d_lambda x the AC length constant
    at frequency freq in that section.

    Be sure to specify your own Ra and cm before calling geom_nseg()

    To understand why this works,
    and the advantages of using an odd value for nseg,
    see  Hines, M.L. and Carnevale, N.T.
            NEURON: a tool for neuroscientists.
            The Neuroscientist 7:123-135, 2001.

// these are reasonable values for most models
freq = 100      // Hz, frequency at which AC length constant will be computed
d_lambda = 0.1

func lambda_f() { local i, x1, x2, d1, d2, lam
        if (n3d() < 2) {
                return 1e5*sqrt(diam/(4*PI*$1*Ra*cm))
// above was too inaccurate with large variation in 3d diameter
// so now we use all 3-d points to get a better approximate lambda
        x1 = arc3d(0)
        d1 = diam3d(0)
        lam = 0
        for i=1, n3d()-1 {
                x2 = arc3d(i)
                d2 = diam3d(i)
                lam += (x2 - x1)/sqrt(d1 + d2)
                x1 = x2   d1 = d2
        //  length of the section in units of lambda
        lam *= sqrt(2) * 1e-5*sqrt(4*PI*$1*Ra*cm)

        return L/lam

proc geom_nseg() {
    soma area(0.5) // make sure diam reflects 3d points
    forall { nseg = int((L/(d_lambda*lambda_f(freq))+0.9)/2)*2 + 1  }

in a file called fixnseg.hoc

After specifying the topolgy, geometry, and biophysics of your model, execute the statements