An Intro To The World of Connectomics

Brain Communication

In order to understand connectomics, we need to have a basic understanding of communication within the brain.

Source

The Connectome

The connectome is a comprehensive map of the neural connections within the brain of an organism. It’s often thought of as a wiring diagram that maps all the neural connections within the nervous system of an organism. A connectome can refer to the mapping of a brain of an entire organism, or the mapping of brain subsystems, such as hippocampal connectomes, thalamic connectomes, or cortical connectomes.

C. elegans

The Importance of Constructing a Human Connectome

Human mental behaviour, such as intelligence (general abilities), depression, ADHD, and schizophrenia are hypothesized to be related to different parts and features of the human brain. Currently, we lack the tools necessary to investigate such theories. However, once we can fully construct human connectomes, scientists and doctors will solve many mysteries related to the correlation between our brain structure and abilities and behaviours. By comparing wiring diagrams of different human brains, it is likely that with this information, we will be able to develop target treatments such as better drugs, neural prostheses, and different surgical practices.

Key Takeaways 🔑

  • connectomics is the study of the brain’s structural and functional connections between different cells
  • This correlation is visualized as a connectome, referring to a set of connections within the brain
  • Neurons communicate with each other through neurotransmitters, and synapses allow signals to pass from one neuron to another
  • The connectome is a comprehensive map of the neural connections within the brain of an organism
  • Currently, the only organism that we have a complete connectome for is C. elegans
  • scientists followed C. elegans neuronal pathways with their own vision, and the convoluted paths were tracked through many microscopic images
  • our brains have 80–100 billion neurons and an estimated amount of 700 trillion synaptic connections
  • completing the human connectome is out of our reach due to the existing technology we have
  • to construct a single human connectome, we will need many electron microscopes and artificial intelligence
  • there is optimism in terms of developing a human connectome because microscopes are improving and becoming cheaper, and A.I. is being used in connectomics
  • once we can fully construct human connectomes, scientists and doctors will solve many mysteries related to the correlation between our brain structure and abilities and behaviours

Contact me for any inquiries 🚀

Hi, I’m Ashley, a 16-year-old coding nerd, and an A.I. and neuroscience enthusiast!

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Ashley

Ashley

just a lil nerd trying to navigate herself through the world of cs! Carnegie Mellon SCS CO 26 :)