I am a semi-interested science person - not an avid Science Times reader or ToTN Science Friday listener, but slightly more interested in science than the average bear. I tend to groove on the thread of what we can learn from science, rather than the uber-modern meme of how we can apply what we think to science or the xian counter-meme of Science ? bleh.
But even with my only basic understanding of sceince, any article on something called connectomics - well, I am all over it like white on rice:
A Wiring Diagram of the Brain
The emerging field of connectomics could help researchers decode the brain's approach to information processing.
Analyzing axons: Scientists are developing new ways to study the
tangled web of neurons in the brain. This image shows a partial
reconstruction of the rabbit retina. Neural projections, which connect
neuron to neuron, are labeled in different colors.
Credit: Kevin Briggman, Moritz Helmstaedter,
Winfried Denk Viren Jain, Joseph Murray, Srini Turaga, and Sebastian
Previous efforts to map the wiring of the brain have focused on larger
anatomical features, such as the thick wiring tracts that connect
different parts of the brain, or on the paths of single neurons,
stained a particular color to distinguish them from their tangled
multitude of neighbors. But to truly understand how a network
of neurons can perform a particular function, scientists need a new
kind of map. "A lot of properties of brain function are at the level of
the circuit--information is being integrated, processed, extracted,"
says Elly Nedivi,
a neuroscientist at MIT who is not involved with the research. "To
understand what that means, you need to be able to see who connects to
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