This graphic traces a network of cortical neurons from a trillions of bytes’ worth of 3-D data. Some of the neurons are color-coded according to their activity patterns in the living brain. (Credit: Clay Reid, Allen Institute; Wei-Chung Lee, Harvard Medical School; Sam Ingersoll, graphic artist)
Scientists say they’ve analyzed trillions of bytes’ worth of mapping data from the brain of a mouse to trace the connections within a tangle of neurons that’s smaller than a pinhead.
The results, published today in the journal Nature, mark a preliminary step toward an even more ambitious neuron-mapping project called MICrONS.
“This is the culmination of a research program that began almost 10 years ago,” study co-author R. Clay Reid, senior investigator at the Allen Institute for Brain Science, said in a news release. “Brain networks are too large and complex to understand piecemeal, so we used high-throughput techniques to collect huge data sets of brain activity and brain wiring.”
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