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Scientists Create One Of The Most Detailed Wiring Map Of A Mammal Brain

Update Date: Apr 03, 2014 12:08 PM EDT
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Scientists have unveiled a detailed 3D map of the 75 million neurons of a mouse brain. Reportedly, it is the most complex diagram of a mammalian brain ever created. 

According to researchers it is an important step toward developing a better understanding of the human brain mechanism. 

Scientists used high-resolution scans for rendering detailed images of the neural connections of every portion of the mouse brain. 

The Mouse Brain Connectivity Atlas has been revealed by the Seattle-based Allen Institute for Brain Science. 

Researchers discovered that circuits formed by connections between individual brain cells or neurons work together to process and code information that ultimately produces emotions as well as other bodily functions. 

The atlas has been uploaded online and can be used by anyone for free. The researchers said the creation was the wrap up of four years of research which involved scans of 1,700 mouse brains.

"Understanding how the brain is wired is among the most crucial steps to understanding how the brain encodes information," Hongkui Zeng, senior director of research science at the Allen Institute, said in a news release.

The atlas contains a total of 1.8 petabytes of data which is equivalent of 23.9 years of continuous HD video. 

"The mouse's neuronal connections must be contributing to brain network computation," Zeng added. "We think a small number of strong connections and a large number of weak connections may be a fundamental network organization property to allow greater capacity of information processing."

"The project provides the most detailed analysis of brain circuitry currently available for any mammalian brain," said neuroscientist David Van Essen of Washington University in St. Louis, co-leader of the human connectome project, as quoted by Reuters. "It is truly a landmark study."

The findings of the study has been detailed in the journal Nature.

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