Summary
A connectome (kəˈnɛktoʊm) is a comprehensive map of neural connections in the brain, and may be thought of as its "wiring diagram". An organism's nervous system is made up of neurons which communicate through synapses. A connectome is constructed by tracing the neuron in a nervous system and mapping where neurons are connected through synapses. The significance of the connectome stems from the realization that the structure and function of the human brain are intricately linked, through multiple levels and modes of brain connectivity. There are strong natural constraints on which neurons or neural populations can interact, or how strong or direct their interactions are. Indeed, the foundation of human cognition lies in the pattern of dynamic interactions shaped by the connectome. Despite such complex and variable structure-function mappings, the connectome is an indispensable basis for the mechanistic interpretation of dynamic brain data, from single-cell recordings to functional neuroimaging. In 2005, Dr. Olaf Sporns at Indiana University and Dr. Patric Hagmann at Lausanne University Hospital independently and simultaneously suggested the term "connectome" to refer to a map of the neural connections within the brain. This term was directly inspired by the ongoing effort to sequence the human genetic code—to build a genome. "Connectomics" (Hagmann, 2005) has been defined as the science concerned with assembling and analyzing connectome data sets. In their 2005 paper, "The Human Connectome, a structural description of the human brain", Sporns et al. wrote: To understand the functioning of a network, one must know its elements and their interconnections. The purpose of this article is to discuss research strategies aimed at a comprehensive structural description of the network of elements and connections forming the human brain. We propose to call this dataset the human "connectome," and we argue that it is fundamentally important in cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology.
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A connectome (kəˈnɛktoʊm) is a comprehensive map of neural connections in the brain, and may be thought of as its "wiring diagram". An organism's nervous system is made up of neurons which communicate through synapses. A connectome is constructed by tracing the neuron in a nervous system and mapping where neurons are connected through synapses. The significance of the connectome stems from the realization that the structure and function of the human brain are intricately linked, through multiple levels and modes of brain connectivity.
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