Yesterday I shared a video from Moritz Helmstaedter a neuroscientist who has pioneered crowd sourcing for connectomics, engaging more than a hundred students to work together to analyze the immense amounts of data. In today’s video recorded at #TEDxNijmegen, Amy Robinson, a research affiliate in MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences explains that it takes a neuroscientist around 50 hours to map one cell, one neuron. And there are more than 80 billion neurons in one human brain. To complete the map of our brain MIT are looking for help to accelerate this process by contributing to the EyeWire project. Watch the video which demonstrates how you can play the game.
The brain is a very complicated thing. You can however help us to fasten up the process of understanding as a non-scientist by joining EyeWire.” EyeWire is a game to map neural networks. Anyone can play, and you don’t need a scientific background ~ Amy Robinson
Moritz Helmstaedter is a neuroscientist dedicated to mapping connectomes – the complex networks of nerve cells in the brain. Moritz has pioneered crowd sourcing for connectomics, engaging more than a hundred students to work together to analyze the immense amounts of data. In the future he hopes to motivate thousands of curious minds to collaborate online on the task of reconstructing the powerful and fascinating neuronal networks of the brain.
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)and the learning disability which often accompanies it came up in conversation with students on the Family Support Course during my recent visit to the Bedford Row Family Project in Limerick. There was concern that ADHD was not being accurately diagnosed and that its treatment was inadequate at best.
In this first in a series of posts on ADHD Professor David Anderson explains how the current medical understanding of ADHD as merely a chemical imbalance in the levels of the two neurotransmitters dopamine and noradrenaline is not working and shows that by investigating a strain of hyperactive fruit fly (Drosophila), ADHD and learning disability involve two separate nerve pathways in the brain. These new findings may help scientists discover more selective treatments for these surprisingly commonplace disorders.
If you suffer from ADHD and/or a learning disability then this video may help you connect your personal experience with what the scientists are now discovering
Further reading for those interested in the scientific experiments:
- Lebestky et al. (2009). Neuron, 64 (4), 522-36 PMID: 19945394
- Wang L, & Anderson DJ (2010). Nature, 463 (7278), 227-31 PMID: 19966787
The neocortex (Latin for “new bark” or “new rind”) is part of the cerebral cortex of the mammalian brain. In humans, it is involved in “higher functions” such as sensory perception, generation of motor commands, spatial reasoning, conscious thought and language.
In an overview of the structure of the mammalian neocortex, Professor of Neurobiology, Clay Reid explains how the mammalian cortex is organized in a hierarchy, describing the columnar principle and canonical microcircuits.
This full-length, undergraduate-level lecture is the third of a 12-part series entitled Coding & Vision 101, produced by the Allen Institute for Brain Science as an educational resource for the community.
From the retina to the superior colliculus, the lateral geniculate nucleus into primary visual cortex and beyond, R. Clay Reid gives a tour of the mammalian visual system highlighting the Nobel-prize winning discoveries of Hubel & Wiesel. This is the first lecture of a 12-part series entitled Coding & Vision 101, produced by the Allen Institute for Brain Science as an educational resource for the community.
How do you remember where you parked your car? How do you know if you’re moving in the right direction? In this video, neuroscientist Neil Burgess who studies the neural mechanisms that map the space around us, explains how they link to memory and imagination.
Jeffrey Applebaum of UC Davis Family Medicine presents some important distinctions between depressive disorders and anxiety disorders and how these differences impact treatment.
Source: “UC Grand Rounds” [8/2011] [Health and Medicine] [Professional Medical Education] [Show ID: 21037]
In the quest to map the brain, many scientists have attempted the incredibly daunting task of recording the activity of each neuron. Optogeneticist Gero Miesenboeck has a different approach for understanding the brain — rather than recording the activity of neurons, he works backwards – manipulating specific neurons to figure out exactly what they do. In this talk from TEDGlobal 2010, Miesenboeck explains his work manipulating neurons in fruit flies to see what happens when the brain’s code is broken.
In his book “Your Brain at Work,” David Rock depicts the story of two people over one day at the office, and what’s happening in their brains that makes it so hard to focus and be productive. Not only does he explain why things go wrong, but how you can train your brain to improve thinking and performance at work. Based on interviews with 30 neuroscientists, he’s developed strategies to help you maximize your mental energy by understanding your brain’s limits, overcome distractions, improve your focus through understanding the nature of attention, reduce stress levels with brain-based techniques and improve how you collaborate by understanding the social needs of the brain.
In this lecture, best-selling author Steven Pinker introduces you to linguistics, the evolution of spoken language, and the debate over the existence of an innate universal grammar. He also explores why language is such a fundamental part of social relationships, human biology, and human evolution. Finally, Pinker touches on the wide variety of applications for linguistics, from improving how we teach reading and writing to how we interpret law, politics, and literature.