Researchers Map Neural Connections in Mouse Brain
April 11, 2011 10:01 AM
comment(s) - last by
They hope to create a computer model of these connections in the future
Researchers from the
University College London (UCL)
in Britain have started to map the functions and connections between nerve cells in the brain, bringing them closer to creating a computer model of the body's most complex organ.
Tom Mrsic-Flogel, study leader from the University College London, and a team of researchers, have begun to "untangle" the
complex inner workings of the brain
by sorting through individual connections and functions of nerve cells.
Mapping the brain's functions has been a challenging task that some scientists around the world are in the midst of attempting. For instance, Harvard researchers are
creating a 3-D nanoscale
model of neural circuits
that shows individual connections in the neural network. Others have even started to map other information processing centers in the body,
such as the spinal cord
The task is challenging mainly because there are around 100 billion neurons in the brain, and each one is connected to thousands of other nerve cells.
Now, researchers from UCL are making their own contribution to the cause through high resolution imaging of the visual cortex of a mouse brain. They chose this particular area because it contains thousands of neurons and millions of connections.
Mrsic-Flogel and his team used high resolution imaging to see which neurons in this area responded to a specific stimulus. Then, they sliced a portion of this tissue and added "small currents of subsets of neurons" in order to see which neurons would send electrical or chemical signals to one another. They repeated this technique over and over again until they could trace the connections and functions of these nerve cells.
"Once we understand the function and connectivity of nerve cells spanning different layers of the brain, we can begin to develop a computer simulation of how this remarkable organ works," said Mrsic-Flogel.
By understanding connections in the brain, the researchers hope to see how they deviate in those who have
, stroke and schizophrenia. But Mrsic-Flogel said it would take many years to make the computer model needed to understand these connections.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
4/11/2011 10:48:35 AM
couldn't this be used to create pathways in human brains?
i mean, monitor which get created while, say, learning a language and re-create them in another person? or any skill in fact.
“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
Queen's Researcher Discovers Spinal Cord's Ability to Process Information
March 23, 2011, 4:43 PM
Common Protein in Alzheimer's Also Helps Wire Nervous System
January 19, 2011, 10:01 AM
Pentagon's Priciest Project, F-35, Misses International Debut
July 25, 2014, 10:18 AM
Temple University Researchers Hit the Delete Button on HIV, Remove it from Human Cells
July 22, 2014, 7:39 AM
Airbus Shows Off All-Electric E-Fan 2.0 Airplane, Plans Production in 2017
July 21, 2014, 9:29 AM
Buzz Aldrin Says First Astronauts to Set Foot on Mars Should Never Return Home
July 9, 2014, 9:46 AM
Women May Soon Be Able to Control Their Fertility via Remote Control
July 7, 2014, 10:14 AM
Tiny "Bio-bots" Powered by Muscle Cells, Electrical Pulses
July 3, 2014, 7:00 PM
Most Popular Articles
Microsoft Kills Entertainment Unit, May Shelve Flagship Lumia "McLaren"
July 18, 2014, 7:40 PM
JJ Abrams Unveils X-Wing Starfighter for New "Star Wars" Movie
July 21, 2014, 12:24 PM
Ford Details ’15 F-150’s 325hp, 2.7L EcoBoost V6; Demonstrates 732-lb Weight Loss
July 22, 2014, 6:55 PM
Comcast Memo: Harassing Customers During Retention Calls Actually IS Our Policy
July 22, 2014, 5:19 PM
Motorola Moto G Successor Reportedly Uncovered, Moto X Discounted by up to $75
July 21, 2014, 1:11 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information