New 3-D Model Shows Neural Network's Individual Connections
March 11, 2011 12:51 PM
Could be useful for those with neurological conditions
researchers have created a 3-D nanoscale model of neural circuits, which allows the medical school team to "crawl" through the neural network's individual connections.
Clay Reid, study leader and Harvard Medical School professor of neurobiology, along with graduate student Davi Bock and postdoctoral researcher Wei-Chung Allen Lee, have developed a 3-D model capable of showing researchers
in the neural network, which could provide information about the brain we never knew before.
Until now, researchers have worked to find ways of understanding the brain's inner workings, especially in the cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex processes reasoning, sensory input, and possibly even free will, making it one of the brain's most important regions. Researchers have understood a broad outline of the anatomy of the cerebral cortex for some time, and more recently, imaging technology has allowed them to look closer into the brain's methods of processing information. While this has showed what a circuit actually does, it hasn't showed us how it operates. This is because one circuit contains 10,000 to 100,000 neurons, where each makes 10,000 interconnections. This is a total of 1 billion connections within one single circuit, and this makes it difficult to get into the circuit and
examine its wiring
But Reid's team has been working at this problem for several years. They've studied the cerebral cortex thoroughly, isolating individual neurons while they "fire in response to external stimuli." Now, the team has successfully created a model capable of showing individual connections at work.
The Harvard team injected the region of a mouse brain responsible for vision with dyes that "flashed" whenever certain neurons fired. Then, using a laser-scanning microscope, they recorded these firings. Electron microscopy was then utilized to see these neurons and hundreds of others "with nanometer resolution." A new imaging system was then used to capture over 3 million high-resolution images, which were sent to the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center at Carnegie Mellon University to be stitched into 3-D images. Ten individual neurons were chosen from these images and their connections were traced through the brain in order to develop a diagram.
Through this model, Reid and his team found that neurons that suppress
are randomly wired, suppressing neurons in local groups all at once, which is an important find for those with neurological problems. For instance, epilepsy is caused by neural restriction gone amiss.
"This is just the iceberg's tip," said Reid. "Within ten years I'm convinced we'll be imaging the activity of thousands of neurons in a living brain. In a visual circuit, we'll interpret the data to reconstruct what an animal actually sees. By that time, with the anatomical imaging, we'll also know how it's all wired together."
Reid plans to keep working to produce larger data sets, and to perfect the overall model.
was published in
"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
Study: Cell Phones Boost Brain Activity by 7 Percent
February 23, 2011, 10:30 AM
Common Protein in Alzheimer's Also Helps Wire Nervous System
January 19, 2011, 10:01 AM
Birth Control Contributes to Depression in Teens and Young Women
October 26, 2016, 4:31 AM
Cyber Hackers Threaten Security of Lifesaving Medical Devices
October 19, 2016, 8:09 AM
Innovative Neurotechnology in Sound Therapy Reduces High Blood Pressure and Migraines
October 16, 2016, 5:00 AM
Researchers Move Closer to Breakthrough Gene Therapy to Cure Sickle Cell
October 14, 2016, 5:00 AM
Keytruda: A breakthrough treatment to increase survival rates for lung cancer patients
October 12, 2016, 5:00 AM
CDC Warning about Record High Increases in 2016 for Polio-like Illness causing Paralysis
October 9, 2016, 5:00 AM
Most Popular Articles
Car Insurance - The Hidden Discriminatory Practise
October 18, 2016, 5:00 AM
Tesla Announces Level 5 Autonomous Driving
October 19, 2016, 8:30 PM
Apple iOS Contains Secret One-handed Keyboard Code
October 22, 2016, 5:00 AM
Thieves Love iPhones – More than $13,000 Stolen from Apple Store
October 21, 2016, 7:13 AM
Do you hate to do yard work?
October 20, 2016, 5:00 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Researchers use CRISPR to Accelerate Search for HIV Cure
Oct 26, 2016, 5:00 AM
Medical Council of India Makes Generic Medicines Mandatory
Oct 25, 2016, 5:00 AM
MacBoo Pro 2016: Release date Oct. 27
Oct 24, 2016, 7:16 AM
Mac Users, Try this if Your Mac is Infected?
Oct 23, 2016, 7:00 AM
Tips to Prevent Smartphones From Overheating:
Oct 22, 2016, 5:00 AM
Nasa Flies Drones at Nevada Airport
Oct 21, 2016, 8:21 AM
T-Mobile Data Problems
Oct 20, 2016, 10:17 AM
Annoying Apple Watch Problems and How to Fix Them
Oct 20, 2016, 5:00 AM
Your Mail May Soon Be Delivered By Robot
Oct 19, 2016, 9:34 AM
2018 Jeep Wrangler Prototype Sells At Junkyard
Oct 18, 2016, 5:00 AM
Samsung Shines with Gold Edition Tablet
Oct 17, 2016, 9:24 AM
Tesla Hints Mysterious Product Debut for October 17th
Oct 16, 2016, 10:14 AM
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Phones on US flights
Oct 15, 2016, 5:00 AM
Comcast Fined $2.3 Million For Unconfirmed Services Charged To Customers
Oct 14, 2016, 5:00 AM
“American singer / songwriter “Bob Dylan is awarded 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Oct 13, 2016, 10:33 AM
Battery Defect in Medical Device
Oct 12, 2016, 5:00 AM
IBM Bolsters Social Services Sector With Technology Grants
Oct 11, 2016, 5:00 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information