Scientists from University College London (UCL) announced recently that they are getting closer to developing a computer model capable of mapping the functions and connections of nerve cells in the brain. The letter, which was published in the journal Nature (published online 4/10/11, doi:10.1038/nature09880), describes a technique developed by the researchers that allows them to ccombine information about the functions of neurons with information about their connections. The study was led by Tom Mrsic-Flogel (UCL) and the research is part of “connectomics,” a newly emerging field of study in neuroscience.
To read a news report on the research, go to http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/11/us-brain-model-idUSTRE7392KU20110411.
Reference: Ho Ko, Sonja B. Hofer, et. al. 2011. “Functional specificity of local synaptic connections in neocortical networks. ” Nature, 4/10/11, doi:10.1038/nature09880 .