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How to map the 100 billion neurons in the brain

Posted in Science on 8th Feb, 2012 05:59 PM by APM

MIT neuroscientist Sebastian Seung believes mapping of of the human brain’s 100 billion neurons can be done — one cubic millimeter of brain tissue at a time.


Even more than our genome, our connectome shapes who we are, says Seung, who outlines his vision for connectome research in a new book, Connectome. “Clearly genes are very important, but because they don’t change after the moment of conception, they can’t really account for the effects of experience,” he says.


A streambed of consciousness


Seung envisions the brain’s connections as the “streambed” through which our consciousness flows. At a molecular level, that streambed consists of billions of synapses, in which one neuron sends signals to the next via chemical neurotransmitters. While scientists once believed that synapses could not be changed after formation, they now know that synapses are continuously strengthening, weakening, disappearing and reforming, as we learn new things and have new experiences.


At the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, Germany, neuroscientists in the laboratory of Winfried Denk have taken extremely thin slices of brain tissue and generated electron-microscope images of all the neural connections within each slice.

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Author: Guest
Posted: 2012-07-30
CourtneyYay! Oh my goodness- I am at work and I just sqeeakud out "Yay!" out loud and I am sure that everyone here thinks I am crazy. Soo excited! I would like the letter "A" for AceMan. And now I am going to have to go out and buy some pink and purple and green fabric and try to make one for Emerson because I am sure she will want one too! Thanks so much Paige! Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2012-07-30
Saurabh Rajadhyax Posted on There are no easy answers / suotlions to the issues raised by the incident As always tendency will be to argue whether this is an law & order issue or a societal issue etc etc. The obvious answer to this is that is it is a combination of multiple issues1) Law & Order Something is an deterrent if folks know that if you do the crime you do the time. In our justice system, unfortunately it takes a lot of time to decide whether someone has to do the time. More often than not guilty are acquitted while innocent languish in jail. Specific to this incident I am assuming on all available evidence, this will be an open and shut case. Hopefully the witness friend will stay strong (public awareness of the case will help here). Police also will do its job unless there is political intervention. Constant monitoring of such cases is the only way I see to maintain pressure and ensure that everyone concerned does what is right.2) Societal issues This is where the main issues come up. Someone will say, folks belonging to certain states, communities, class, literacy levels etc etc are prone to indulge in this kind of behavior. I am not sure if statistically or even anthropologically we can prove any of this. But let us not forget that many of us including the industry the author works in have in myriad of ways contributed to the situation.For example if we look logically, Vivek Oberoi did the right thing by calling that press conference and talking about Salman's physical abuse of Aishwariya. May be he did it for publicity, may be he thought that was a way to build relationship with Ms. Rai but heck he did what many of us we will do i.e. Raise voice against abuse/violence against women. Just look at the reactions within and outside the film industry to figure out how Vivek and Salman were perceived after that press conference. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-10-26
OvQYPc A big thank you for your article.Much thanks again. Keep writing. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-11-22
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