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
RE: Software brain?
4/11/2011 1:31:58 PM
If the software brain is anything like the human brain those "who am I?" and "why am I here?" questions will be the last things on its mind. It'll be more concerned with the next code merge, whether or not it can afford a new API, and can it push off garbage collection for another week.
"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher
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
Creationists are Mad About Google Doodle Depicting Evolution
November 24, 2015, 8:48 PM
DHS and TSA: Whoops, We Missed That 73 Airport Employees May be Terrorists
November 19, 2015, 2:16 PM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information