The Connectome — Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Lead investigators Hanspeter Pfister (SEAS ), Jeff Lichtman (FAS/Molecular & Cellular Biology, Center for Brain Science) and Clay Reid (HMS/Neurobiology, Center for Brain Science) Description The overall goal of the Connectome project is to map, store, analyze and visualize the actual neural circuitry of the peripheral and central nervous systems in experimental organisms, based on a very large number of images from high-resolution microscopy.
Simple mathematical pattern describes shape of neuron ‘jungle’ Neuron shape model: target points (red) distributed in a spherical volume and connected to optimize wiring in a tree (black) (credit: H. Cuntz et al./PNAS) University College London (UCL) neuroscientists have found that there is a simple pattern that describes the tree-like shape of all neurons. Neurons look remarkably like trees, and connect to other cells with many branches that effectively act like wires in an electrical circuit, carrying impulses that represent sensation, emotion, thought and action. Over 100 years ago, Santiago Ramon y Cajal, the father of modern neuroscience, sought to systematically describe the shapes of neurons, and was convinced that there must be a unifying principle underlying their diversity. Cajal proposed that neurons spread out their branches so as to use as little wiring as possible to reach other cells in the network. New work by UCL neuroscientists has revisited this century-old hypothesis using modern computational methods.
Neurological Control - Neurotransmitters Neurotransmitter Molecules Neurotransmitters can be broadly split into two groups – the ‘classical’, small molecule neurotransmitters and the relatively larger neuropeptide neurotransmitters. Within the category of small molecule neurotransmitters, the biogenic amines (dopamine, noradrenaline, serotonin and histamine) are often referred to as a discrete group because of their similarity in terms of their chemical properties. Click on the links in the table above to read more about some of the important neurotransmitters. Serotonin Although the CNS contains less than 2% of the total serotonin in the body, serotonin plays a very important role in a range of brain functions. Within the brain, serotonin is localised mainly in nerve pathways emerging from the raphe nuclei, a group of nuclei at the centre of the reticular formation in the Midbrain, pons and medulla. Noradrenaline Find out more about noradrenaline and serotonin Dopamine Acetylcholine Neurotransmitter Receptors Serotoning receptors
A Glance at the Brain’s Circuit Diagram | Neuroscience News Research Articles | Neuroscience Social Network A new method facilitates the mapping of connections between neurons. The human brain accomplishes its remarkable feats through the interplay of an unimaginable number of neurons that are interconnected in complex networks. A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, the University of Göttingen and the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Göttingen has now developed a method for decoding neural circuit diagrams. Using measurements of total neuronal activity, they can determine the probability that two neurons are connected with each other. The human brain consists of around 80 billion neurons, none of which lives or functions in isolation. The scientists use data from so-called calcium fluorescence measurements that were recorded in collaboration with the University of Barcelona. Calcium fluorescence measurements show the activity of neurons (left). In the present article, they also examined real neurons. Contacts: Dr.
Stop Grow Hair Growth Inhibitor Human Connectome Project The Human Connectome Project (HCP) is a five-year project sponsored by sixteen components of the National Institutes of Health, split between two consortia of research institutions. The project was launched in July 2009 as the first of three Grand Challenges of the NIH's Blueprint for Neuroscience Research. On September 15, 2010, the NIH announced that it would award two grants: $30 million over five years to a consortium led by Washington University in Saint Louis and the University of Minnesota, and $8.5 million over three years to a consortium led by Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of California Los Angeles. The goal of the Human Connectome Project is to build a "network map" that will shed light on the anatomical and functional connectivity within the healthy human brain, as well as to produce a body of data that will facilitate research into brain disorders such as dyslexia, autism, Alzheimer's disease, and schizophrenia.
Connectomics Connectomics is the production and study of connectomes: comprehensive maps of connections within an organism's nervous system, typically its brain or eye. Because these structures are extremely complex, methods within this field use a high-throughput application of neural imaging and histological techniques in order to increase the speed, efficiency, and resolution of maps of the multitude of neural connections in a nervous system. While the principal focus of such a project is the brain, any neural connections could theoretically be mapped by connectomics, including, for example, neuromuscular junctions. Tools Model Systems Aside from the human brain, some of the model systems used for connectomics research are the mouse, the fruit fly, the nematode C. elegans, and the barn owl. Applications Criticism Comparison to genomics See also References Further reading External links
Brain Atlas - Introduction The central nervous system (CNS) consists of the brain and the spinal cord, immersed in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Weighing about 3 pounds (1.4 kilograms), the brain consists of three main structures: the cerebrum, the cerebellum and the brainstem. Cerebrum - divided into two hemispheres (left and right), each consists of four lobes (frontal, parietal, occipital and temporal). The outer layer of the brain is known as the cerebral cortex or the ‘grey matter’. It covers the nuclei deep within the cerebral hemisphere e.g. the basal ganglia; the structure called the thalamus, and the ‘white matter’, which consists mostly of myelinated axons. – closely packed neuron cell bodies form the grey matter of the brain. Cerebellum – responsible for psychomotor function, the cerebellum co-ordinates sensory input from the inner ear and the muscles to provide accurate control of position and movement. Basal Ganglia Thalamus and Hypothalamus Ventricles Limbic System Reticular Activating System Neurons Glia
The Brain's Highways: Mapping the Last Frontier Frontiers are in short supply. No explorer will again catch that first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean with “wild surmise,” take the first steps on the moon, or arrive first at the Challenger deep – the remotest corners of the earth are now tourist attractions. Even in science, great mysteries have fallen – life itself has gone from being the subject of metaphysical speculation about vital substances to the biophysical understanding of cellular processes. Yet there is one largely unmapped continent, perhaps the most intriguing of them all, because it is the instrument of discovery itself: the human brain. However, if one scratches the surface, our knowledge of how the human brain is put together remains limited: not in some esoteric, complicated manner, but in the straightforward sense that we have simply no means to visualize entire neurons in the brain (and the brain, being a collection of neurons, therefore remains a shut book in important ways).
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The Human Connectome Project The Human Connectome Project Human Connectome The NIH Human Connectome Project is an ambitious effort to map the neural pathways that underlie human brain function. Altogether, the Human Connectome Project will lead to major advances in our understanding of what makes us uniquely human and will set the stage for future studies of abnormal brain circuits in many neurological and psychiatric disorders. Consortia The Blueprint has funded two major cooperative agreements that will take complementary approaches to deciphering the brain's complex wiring diagram. Use the box at the right to search the consortium sites or browse the sites directly using the links below. Latest Updates The Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of California at Los Angeles consortium has built a next-generation 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner that improves the quality and spatial resolution with which brain connectivity data can be acquired. Washington University in St.