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The wonderworld of the
healthy brain
Dr Katrin Deinhardt
University of Southampton
http://www.iflscience.com/categories/brain
Image courtesy of the National Institute on
Aging/National Institutes of Health
The human brain in numbers
• ~1.4 kg (~2% of the total body weight)
• 1011 (100,000,000,000) individual nerve cells
• 1014...
Ramon y Cajal
The beginnings..
Current initiatives to explore the
(human) brain
• The Blue Brain Project:
http://bluebrain.epfl.ch/
• The Human Connectom...
The Blue Brain Project
• Aim : building a virtual brain in a
supercomputer
• Challenge : each simulated neuron requires a
...
• Started in 2002
• Developed a realistic model of a rat cortical
column (a “building block” of the cortex;
~10,000 nerve ...
The Human Connectome Project
• Aim : to generate a wiring diagram of the
living human brain (structural and functional)
• ...
• Since 2010
• 1200 healthy individuals
• Imaging techniques:
– hardwiring: resting functional MRI, diffusion
imaging
– fu...
Diffusion imaging
Images courtesy of: http://humanconnectome.org
Images courtesy of: http://humanconnectomeproject.org
Functional MRI: listening to a story
(yellow/red), and performing math
(blue/green)
Images courtesy of: http://humanconnec...
Structural MRI
Images courtesy of: http://humanconnectome.org
…put together:
Images courtesy of: http://humanconnectome.org
The Brain Initiative
• Aim : “To revolutionise our understanding of the
human brain”
“to accelerate the development and ap...
• Launched 2013
• Promotes new technologies and
interdisciplinary research
(engineering, informatics, biology etc)
• Bring...
“new technologies” – what can we do
today in model organisms?
Some commonly used model
organisms in numbers:
• C.elegans (roundworm): 302 neurons, ~5,000
synapses
• D.melanogaster (fru...
Ramon y Cajal
Livet et al, Nature 2007
Imaging all nerve cells: The
“brainbow” mouse
“Clarity”
Chung et al, Nature 2013
Chung et al, Nature 2013
…and we can watch and manipulate
live: “optogenetics”
• Sensors: Chameleon (Ca2+), Mermaid (voltage)
• Manipulators: Light...
So what is my specific interest?
To understand how
an individual nerve
cell functions:
working with large
distances and
co...
Long-range logistics: Transport
Local decisions:
to grow or not to grow?
Local decisions:
to grow or not to grow?
Finally…
…a great website for good “brain-related” info:
https://www.dana.org/
(also the neuroscience societies:
BNA, FENS...
Dr. katrin deinhardt   home of memories and more – discovering the wonder world of the healthy brain - iw cafe scientifique
Dr. katrin deinhardt   home of memories and more – discovering the wonder world of the healthy brain - iw cafe scientifique
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Dr. katrin deinhardt home of memories and more – discovering the wonder world of the healthy brain - iw cafe scientifique

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The speaker will be Dr. Katrin Deinhardt, Lecturer in Neuroscience, Centre for Biological Sciences, Southampton.

The title for her talk is “Home of memories and more – discovering the wonder world of the healthy brain” Katrin will discuss some general facts and properties of the brain, and of “memory”, and talk about big challenges and recent advances in trying to understand it.

Published in: Science, Technology, Education
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Transcript of "Dr. katrin deinhardt home of memories and more – discovering the wonder world of the healthy brain - iw cafe scientifique"

  1. 1. The wonderworld of the healthy brain Dr Katrin Deinhardt University of Southampton
  2. 2. http://www.iflscience.com/categories/brain
  3. 3. Image courtesy of the National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health
  4. 4. The human brain in numbers • ~1.4 kg (~2% of the total body weight) • 1011 (100,000,000,000) individual nerve cells • 1014-1015 (1,000,000,000,000,000) connections • Estimates of storage capacity vary from 10- 1000 terrabytes • In comparison: The entire collection of the US Library of Congress is estimated at 10tb
  5. 5. Ramon y Cajal The beginnings..
  6. 6. Current initiatives to explore the (human) brain • The Blue Brain Project: http://bluebrain.epfl.ch/ • The Human Connectome: http://www.humanconnectomeproject.org/ http://www.humanconnectome.org/ • The Brain Initiative: http://www.nih.gov/science/brain/ http://www.kavlifoundation.org/brain-initiative
  7. 7. The Blue Brain Project • Aim : building a virtual brain in a supercomputer • Challenge : each simulated neuron requires a computing power equivalent to that of an average laptop • Benefit : the ability to simulate how changes in one brain area affect the entire network
  8. 8. • Started in 2002 • Developed a realistic model of a rat cortical column (a “building block” of the cortex; ~10,000 nerve cells) with ca 50 different neuronal subtypes by 2006
  9. 9. The Human Connectome Project • Aim : to generate a wiring diagram of the living human brain (structural and functional) • Challenge : to access the brain without causing damage • Benefit : to gain an understanding of pathways underlying behaviour
  10. 10. • Since 2010 • 1200 healthy individuals • Imaging techniques: – hardwiring: resting functional MRI, diffusion imaging – function: functional MRI; MEG/EEG on 100 individuals – general shape: structural MRI
  11. 11. Diffusion imaging Images courtesy of: http://humanconnectome.org
  12. 12. Images courtesy of: http://humanconnectomeproject.org
  13. 13. Functional MRI: listening to a story (yellow/red), and performing math (blue/green) Images courtesy of: http://humanconnectome.org
  14. 14. Structural MRI Images courtesy of: http://humanconnectome.org
  15. 15. …put together: Images courtesy of: http://humanconnectome.org
  16. 16. The Brain Initiative • Aim : “To revolutionise our understanding of the human brain” “to accelerate the development and application of new technologies that will enable researchers to produce dynamic pictures of the brain that show how individual brain cells and complex neural circuits interact at the speed of thought” • Challenge : Current technologies are limited • Benefits : better basic understanding of brain function to develop treatments for brain disease
  17. 17. • Launched 2013 • Promotes new technologies and interdisciplinary research (engineering, informatics, biology etc) • Brings together initiatives such as the connectome, the Allan Institute
  18. 18. “new technologies” – what can we do today in model organisms?
  19. 19. Some commonly used model organisms in numbers: • C.elegans (roundworm): 302 neurons, ~5,000 synapses • D.melanogaster (fruitfly): ~100,000 neurons, ~10,000,000 synapses • M.musculus (mouse): ~71,000,000 neurons, ~100,000,000,000 synapses • R.norvegicus (rat): ~200,000,000 neurons, ~450,000,000,000
  20. 20. Ramon y Cajal
  21. 21. Livet et al, Nature 2007 Imaging all nerve cells: The “brainbow” mouse
  22. 22. “Clarity” Chung et al, Nature 2013
  23. 23. Chung et al, Nature 2013
  24. 24. …and we can watch and manipulate live: “optogenetics” • Sensors: Chameleon (Ca2+), Mermaid (voltage) • Manipulators: Light-activated channels switch nerve cells “on” or “off”
  25. 25. So what is my specific interest? To understand how an individual nerve cell functions: working with large distances and complicated shapes
  26. 26. Long-range logistics: Transport
  27. 27. Local decisions: to grow or not to grow?
  28. 28. Local decisions: to grow or not to grow?
  29. 29. Finally… …a great website for good “brain-related” info: https://www.dana.org/ (also the neuroscience societies: BNA, FENS, SfN)
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