Blow Your Mind!

If you’re interested in the complexities of our brain, a glimpse into the incredible complexity and beauty of how connections between our neurons can lead to ultimately what makes us human, this video is a must. Take five minutes, and prepare yourself to be awestruck.

On a personal note, I am not a neuroscientist but have been following this literature lately, simply because I am drawn to trying to understand how our brains work. I am humbled by the superb job done by Charlotte Stoddart in integrating several key studies to paint a picture of our brains that can be understood, and appreciated, by anyone.

And thanks to Adam Rutherford for the tip via Twitter (ah…the power of online social networking!)

@AdamRutherford
Adam Rutherford
Really lovely video about detailed brain mapping http://bit.ly/gYnAwQ by my colleague @CharlotteStod

Uploaded by NatureVideoChannel on Mar 9, 2011

Our brains are a dense tangle of billions of nerve cells connected together at synapses. Knowing how everything links up is key to understanding how the brain works — but it’s a huge challenge. Figuring out the brain’s wiring diagram is the aim of ‘connectomics’. It’s done at many scales: from the ‘super highways’ linking brain areas down to individual cells and their connections. This video shows how, for the first time, scientists have reconstructed the wiring of tiny pieces of the mouse brain and related it to the function of individual cells.

Read the original research papers here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature09818 & http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature09802

Comments

  1. #1 Mind and Memory
    March 11, 2011

    Now that was cool to see. I like how it was visualized and easy to understand. The mind and memory are fascinating and complex. It is amazing that science now can form the wiring of any brain even a mouse and tie it in to cell function.

  2. #2 Matthew
    March 12, 2011

    It’s shocking on how complex the brain and its connections throughout the body are. Similarly to the Human Genome Project, if there was a way to, even on a basic scale, map out the nervous connections from the brain to the body, it would be a huge leap forward for biological studies. It surprised me that the connections between the nerves continuously changed, especially with each bit of memory retained.

  3. #3 Jiyoon Song
    March 13, 2011

    I’m only a high school student and the video contained a lot of information that was complex for me to comprehend, but I decided to leave a comment because that was just fascinating. Just by looking at the crazy pictures, I was amazed at how mysterious our brains were. Personally, I thought the picture with all different colors looked like a work of art. Anyways, this blog had got me thinking to what science will be capable of doing if scientists actually found out how the brains functioned. For being a high school student, I thought that maybe science can make people smarter and insert knowledge into the brain. Of course, that would cause some chaotic situations so that wouldn’t be too good. Like this, I think there can be some negative effects to this study being accomplished. This blog was very interesting and really blew my mind! Thank you.

  4. #4 Adin
    March 14, 2011

    That video was incredible and is great visual representation of the vastness of the nervous system. The one shot where the path of the signal is sent out by one neuron and then many is unbelievable. The one neuron path is so complicated and then multiple laid out on top of each other is even more complicated and then to infer the entire brain of a human being would be more then a trillion fold. I am completely blow away by how complicated this is. The fact that a sliver of retinal neurons in a rat can be recreated on a computer really shows how far science and technology have come together. The possibilities of mapping out the brain on a cellular level are incredible. We could locate and change things that would affect people like medicine. We could also unlock the brain and use it to its full potential. If we could completely decode the brain and learn how it really works we could improve and open up new areas that are virtually unused in the brain. The complexity of the brain to most people is almost incomprehensible, but maybe sometime in the future mankind may truly understand how the brain works.

  5. #5 Dot
    March 22, 2011

    There are a variety of very interesting avenues. The biology in and of itself is complex and interesting. Where biology meets behavior and cognition is where the rubber really meets the road (IMHO). As methods improve the possibilities for cognitive neuroscience are remarkable.

  6. #6 Gohar
    March 25, 2011

    the video is really awesome, also check out http://shrt.fm/fTOrex