The Inner Workings of the Brain: Watch a Single Brain Cell Searching for Connections in This Viral Video
H. stated that “our five-year mission was truly difficult, with an ambitious goal that many considered unattainable.” Sebastian Seung is Princeton’s Evnin professor in Neuroscience and a computer science professor. He is also one of the leading scientists at MICrONS. “In the first year, I was challenged by a member of my lab to make it possible for me to release the Phase 1 pilot. We are now releasing a cubic meter of the reconstructed mouse brain cortex. This is 1000 times more than the Phase 1 target.
The dataset is now freely available for anyone who wants to view and use it. It maps the connectivity and fine structures of nearly 200,000 brain cells as well as close to 500,000,000 synapses. This data comes from the visual cortex, the part of the mammalian brain responsible for processing what the eyes see.
H. Sebastian Seung, the Evnin Professor in Neuroscience and a professor of computer science at Princeton University
Seung stated that the cerebral cortex, the brain’s largest structure, has a mythic status. Santiago Ramon y Cajal (1906 Nobel laureate, Spanish hero) called it an ‘enigma among enigmas’. He pioneered the mapping and analysis of neural circuits. Our 21st-century reconstruction of a bit of cortex is something we like to believe Cajal would love. We are, I believe, equally delighted by our 21st century reconstruction of a piece of the cortex. However, we are still too exhausted from the five-year mission.
The Machine Intelligence From Cortical Networks (MICrONS program) was a five-year-long project that was funded by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity. The research funding was used to extract brain-wiring information for machine learning. The dataset is valuable for the neuroscience field as well for both scientists who want to understand how the brain communicates information along specific circuits and biomedical researchers who wish to treat brain disorders that alter wiring or connections.