An article in open-access journal PLoS Computational Biology reviews current knowledge and calls for a comprehensive map of the brain’s connections.
Echoing the aims of the Human Genome Project the authors argue that a detailed ‘connectome’ is needed to fully understand how different areas of the human brain interconnect.
There is already a good understanding about how some areas of the brain connect, but it is currently not available in a single database, and there are crucial pathways that are not described in sufficient detail.
Having accurate information about the physical layout of the brain would allow a better understanding of the significance of brain activity from neuroimaging studies, and the effects of brain damage on areas not directly affected by the injury.
The paper in PLoS Computational Biology is part of a growing trend to integrate measures of activity (typically attributed to averaged or relatively rough locations in the brain) with detailed anatomical maps.
A recent toolkit released for SPM – a popular brain scan analysis package – allows researchers to judge the probability of activity arising from different areas in the brain, each is which is distinguished by differences in the microscopic structure of the neural tissue.
Link to article ‘The Human Connectome: A Structural Description of the Human Brain’.
One thought on “‘Connectome’ call for human brain mappers”
The illustration you used sent me on a chase and I’m wondering if I found a goose or a mouse?
Well, I found this: It’s an image made by Anders Bruns (et al.) found at
(tiny url: http://tinyurl.com/y6lt52)
and illustrating a technique that shows the path of water through the brain. Looks great, sounds great.
From what little I know, I would expect that that toolkit for SPM is a step in the creation of a DTI (diffusion tensor imaging) illustration of probable brain connectivity at a particular time.
But mostly I want to say what a great blog this is and how I really try to study it.