Mapping out all the connections in the mammalian brain could have huge implications for research. It would help us to better understand how brains are organised and how they process information. The Mouse Connectome Project aims to create a full 3D digital map of the mouse brain, providing imaging data of all the major neuronal pathways. Pictured is an image from the database, generated using fluorescent stain injected into the brain to visualise and highlight nerve activity. So far, the researchers have used more than 600 highlighted connections in the mouse brain to generate a map of the major brain pathways. Now the aim is to generate ‘driving directions’ for all the routes linking different structures in the nervous system. The project has the potential to enhance our understanding of the brain, the most complex and least understood organ.
Written by Cathleen O'Grady
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.