Connectomics: The Future of Neuroscience

“Hyper realistic image of a Brainbow”

Neural Connectivity

Dendrites

The Connectome !

Complete Connectome of the C. Elegan

What is the Difference Between Structural and Functional Connectivity?

  • sMRI
  • Diffusion Weighted Imaging ( DWI )
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging ( DTI )
  • Diffusion Spectrum Imaging ( DSI )
Diffusion Tensor Imaging
  • fMRI
  • EEG
  • ECoG
  • MEG
  • PET Scans
fMRI Scan

Advancements in Connectomics

Brainbow Technique

Hmm looks stunning enough to be your next laptop screensaver…

Automatic Tape-Collecting Lathe Ultramicrotome (ATLUM)

These are sadly not the edible kind of wafers
Over a decade of blood, sweat, and tears went into this single cubic millimeter of brain
Digital Reconstruction of Neurons in the Cortex
A connectome in the making !

How Artificial Intelligence is Impacting Connectomics

Future of Connectomics

  • Proper investigation into the link between brain mechanisms and psychological behaviors
  • The collection of hyper specific information on how diseases in the brain look as well as physical biomarkers of neurological conditions
  • More personalized treatments in neurology
  • The potential to obtain greater understanding of how memories are encoded in our neural wiring and the possibility of one day being able to retrieve memories engrained in our brain’s circuitry (totally a topic that deserves its own dedicated discussion)
  • Our brains are extremely complex and our current brain imaging methods are still behind in gathering a lot of the information that we need to further our understanding of the brain
  • Connectomics is the field that aims to create a map of all the neuronal connections in your brain
  • The Brainbow Technique uses fluorescent proteins to trace individual neurons
  • Electron Microscopy allows for a much higher resolution of neurons over Light Microscopes
  • The ATLUM created a more efficient way to image and analyze brain slices
  • Coloring and identifying each neuron in the process of segmentation made creating digital reconstructions of neurons possible
  • AI is helping advance connectomics through the use of computer vision that can independently color in neural pathways in the brain
  • A full connectome means the possibility to one day resurface memories and develop more personalized treatments in neurology.

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17 y/o life long learner who’s passionate about sharing stories anything and everything related to education, the brain, and linguistics!

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Sualeha Irshad

Sualeha Irshad

17 y/o life long learner who’s passionate about sharing stories anything and everything related to education, the brain, and linguistics!

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