Mapping the brain’s connections

A couple of months before I moved to Canada to pursue my graduate studies in neuroscience, I stumbled upon a 2010 TED talk titled, “I am my Connectome,” delivered by MIT researcher Sebastian Seung. In the talk, he spoke about how our brain function can be explained in terms of the collection of synapses – the connections between neurons – between the billions of neurons in our brain – this is the connectome. He went on to describe The Human Connectome Project, through which many teams of neuroscientists around the world are joining efforts to map the neural connections in the human brain, reminiscent of the large-scale initiative to sequence the entire human genome in 2003. His talk covered the basics on what a synapse is and the enormous number…

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