The NIH BRAIN Initiative and the DOE Office of Science are committed to expanding human knowledge and driving discovery through the development of pioneering technologies. Biological, physical and computational sciences have advanced to the level that we can envision generating complete neural circuits at the level of synapses (“connectomes”) for smaller brains such as the rodent, and the level of myelinated axons to map long-range projections (“projectomes”) in humans and other large-brained mammals. Together with the brain “parts list” of cell types arising from the BRAIN Initiative Cell Census Network, “wiring diagrams” of the mammalian brain will revolutionize the capabilities of researchers to formulate and test models of how activity within brain circuits drives coordinated function and behavior. Generating high-resolution anatomical maps at the scales necessary to characterize mammalian brain connectomes and projectomes will both press the boundaries of current computational capabilities and drive innovations in data science including artificial intelligence and machine learning.
We are seeking input from experts in brain connectomics and other key stakeholders, including researchers in academia and industry, clinicians, scientific societies and advocacy organizations, and interested members of the public. We want to hear your view on the significance of mapping mammalian brain circuitry in detail, as well as your feedback and ideas on the state of the art in mapping complete neural circuits, the current opportunities for advancing connectomics technologies, and the challenges that need to be addressed to generate comprehensive maps of brain connectivity.
You may respond to this request for ideas and feedback by using the NINDS Ideascale platform, a public crowdsourcing community dedicated to hearing your ideas on various projects. Content will be rolled out dynamically, so please check in over the course of the series to join in on the conversation.
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