Navigation Links
Mapping the brain: New technique poised to untangle the complexity of the brain
Date:4/10/2011

Scientists have moved a step closer to being able to develop a computer model of the brain after developing a technique to map both the connections and functions of nerve cells in the brain together for the first time.

A new area of research is emerging in the neuroscience known as 'connectomics'. With parallels to genomics, which maps the our genetic make-up, connectomics aims to map the brain's connections (known as 'synapses'). By mapping these connections and hence how information flows through the circuits of the brain scientists hope to understand how perceptions, sensations and thoughts are generated in the brain and how these functions go wrong in diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia and stroke.

Mapping the brain's connections is no trivial task, however: there are estimated to be one hundred billion nerve cells ('neurons') in the brain, each connected to thousands of other nerve cells making an estimated 150 trillion synapses. Dr Tom Mrsic-Flogel, a Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellow at UCL (University College London), has been leading a team of researchers trying to make sense of this complexity.

"How do we figure out how the brain's neural circuitry works?" he asks. "We first need to understand the function of each neuron and find out to which other brain cells it connects. If we can find a way of mapping the connections between nerve cells of certain functions, we will then be in a position to begin developing a computer model to explain how the complex dynamics of neural networks generate thoughts, sensations and movements."

Nerve cells in different areas of the brain perform different functions. Dr Mrsic-Flogel and colleagues focus on the visual cortex, which processes information from the eye. For example, some neurons in this part of the brain specialise in detecting the edges in images; some will activate upon detection of a horizontal edge, others by a vertical edge. Higher u
'/>"/>

Contact: Craig Brierley
c.brierley@wellcome.ac.uk
44-207-611-7329
Wellcome Trust
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Chemical equator discovery will aid pollution mapping
2. Mapping a clan of mobile selfish genes
3. New rainforest mapping technology gets huge support
4. Studies offer guide as protein interaction mapping comes of age
5. Neural mapping paints a haphazard picture of odor receptors
6. Plant gene mapping may lead to better biofuel production
7. A Canada-wide technology platform for mapping the human interactome
8. Scientists take early steps toward mapping epigenetic variability
9. First phase of pan-tropical forest mapping debuting at COP15
10. AgriLife scientists do groundwork for genetic mapping of algae biofuel species
11. Genome mapping technique speeds process of finding specific genes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:9/16/2014)... years after the Hesperides vessel returned to Spain culminating ... have an increasingly clear picture of how the global ... the input of pollutants from the atmosphere is not ... most remote areas of the planet, and it is ... are presented this week in CSIC Residence for Researchers ...
(Date:9/16/2014)... . CRG researchers ... Journal of Cell Biology describes how Topo 2 ... , At this very moment thousands of our body,s cells ... the body repairs damaged tissues and regenerates others like skin ... "mitosis", during which the cell duplicates its genetic material and ...
(Date:9/16/2014)... Sept. 16, 2014  Cross Match Technologies, a ... announced today the launch of its Verifier ® ... identity of an individual using their secure credentials ... rapidly reads credential documents with embedded biometric data ... the biometric to a live scan of their ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):The Malaspina Expedition confirms that pollution reaches even the most remote areas of the ocean 2The Malaspina Expedition confirms that pollution reaches even the most remote areas of the ocean 3Unraveling cell division 2Unraveling cell division 3Cross Match Launches New Identity Management Handheld Solution 2
... ROCKVILLE, Md. -- Several members of the American Society ... or foreign associates of the U.S. National Academy of ... in original research. Three current ASPB members were ... Birchler , Curators Professor of Biological Sciences, University of ...
... Callaghan, a researcher at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, ... and permafrost. "The changes we see are dramatic. ... deviate from the norm when compared with a longer term ... parts of the globe that is warming up fastest today. ...
... and Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD, have been elected as members ... in original scientific research. It is one of the highest ... States. They join 70 other scientists who will ... now has 40 current faculty members in the distinguished group. ...
Cached Biology News:A new research report shows effects of climate change in the Arctic are more extensive than expected 2A new research report shows effects of climate change in the Arctic are more extensive than expected 3UCSF scientists honored by National Academy of Sciences 2
(Date:9/15/2014)... Bioptigen announced today the availability of ... optical device metrology and pre-clinical ophthalmic research markets. ... Contact Lens Metrology is designed for non-destructive, non-contact, full ... IOL structures, and donor tissues. The metrology ... in a hydration bath (saline), automated segmentation of anterior ...
(Date:9/15/2014)... AUSTIN, Texas , Sept. 15, 2014 The ... changes in climate, says a new article published by the ... Ahmed , PhD, on climate change and its effects on ... part of an extensive study conducted by Dr. Ahmed in ... China and has implications for the future ...
(Date:9/15/2014)... Maryland , 15 de septiembre de 2014 ... se llevará a cabo del 12 al 18 de octubre. ... (PPTA) y de sus compañías miembro s, la ... la concienciación mundial en torno a la colección de fuentes ... donantes de plasma al salvar y mejorar las vidas ...
(Date:9/14/2014)... variety of ways, including by modifying the protein structure. ... form and perform no or even the "wrong" function: ... diseases such as Alzheimer,s, Parkinson,s or cystic fibrosis. Some ... other molecules of the same type and congregate into ... damage cells and tissues and make people ill. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Bioptigen Introduces Deep Imaging OCT System for Contact Lens Metrology 2Tea Taste and Quality Affected by Climate Change 2Tea Taste and Quality Affected by Climate Change 3Tea Taste and Quality Affected by Climate Change 4La International Plasma Awareness Week será una celebración para los donantes 2La International Plasma Awareness Week será una celebración para los donantes 3Measuring modified protein structures 2Measuring modified protein structures 3
... material that could become essential to efficient, environmentally ... advantage of graphene,s outstanding strength, light weight and ... wells. The Rice University lab of chemist ... Texas-based supplier of drilling fluids and subsidiary of ...
...  Kensey Nash Corporation (Nasdaq: KNSY ) today ... (Nasdaq: SPNC ) that they reached a ... product lines purchased from Kensey Nash in May 2008. ... payable to Kensey Nash.  As previously disclosed, the Company ...
... Sangui enters commercialization phase / Initial order of ... Tamaulipas has issued an initial order of Hemo2Spray, the Sangui ... product Scabremove both registered by the Mexican authorities in September ... the wound spray and Sangui management is positive that an ...
Cached Biology Technology:Functionalized graphene oxide plays part in next-generation oil-well drilling fluids 2Functionalized graphene oxide plays part in next-generation oil-well drilling fluids 3Mexican State of Tamaulipas Starts Training Doctors in Sangui Wound Management 2