HONR 297: Connectomics: 3D Mapping of Neural Circuits in the Mammalian Brain - George A. Spirou
1 or 2 credit hours; 2 credit hours entails greater lab participation
Need not be Honors student to enroll, but must receive permission of instructor
Explore and be a part of the new field of mapping neural circuitry in the brain, called connectomics. Students will work with unique electron microscopy image volumes, and learn to recognize cellular and subcellular structures as they segment neurons, glia and vascular networks in the images. These images offer many opportunities for students to design honors research projects, and in future semesters lead teams of other students to complete publishable projects. Along the way experience the wave of big data neuroscience, and learn the technologies that are shaping our modern understanding of brain structure through development and into maturity. Explore the structures you segment using 3D immersive virtual reality. Students in physical sciences, mathematics or engineering can identify projects to analyze the structures through classification, graph theoretical procedures and biophysical modeling, to name a few examples. Be amazed at how the brain constructs its initial wiring diagram following its genetic program, and how the connectome can change with learning and experience. We are seeking to enroll 100 students, whose combined work in a single semester will change our understanding of nervous system circuits and computation.
For insight into this new field, view the Ted Talk Here’s the link: http://www.ted.com/talks/sebastian_seung.html
Or just Google “Ted Talk Connectome”