The Connectome

Connectomics, the emerging field of mapping the human brain and its inspirational potential for non-neuroscientists.
"A connectome is a synapse-resolution mapping of connections between all neurons in a model organism's brain. In other words, a synapse-resolution circuit diagram of the brain. Current approaches to mapping the connectomes of model organisms employ serial block face scanning electron microscopy (SBF-SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The only connectome that has been mapped out to date has been from the nematode (roundworm), C. elegans, which has only around 300 neurons. Candidate future connectomes include the fly, with around 10,000 neurons, and the mouse brain, with 100 million neurons."
Kasthuri N, Lichtman JW. The Rise of the Projectome. Nat Methods. 2007 Apr;4(4):307-8.

One of the leading labs in connectome research is the Seung lab at MIT. Read about their work in the MIT Press article and watch Sebastian Seung's brilliant TED talk (I am my connectome) about the quest of mapping the human connectome.
As with other cutting edge scientific concepts, it is intriguing to think this concept through in other fields such as seeing public spaces as areas where connectomes of another sort are arising. So connectomes may be conceptualized for specific landscapes as well. As planners and landscape architects we can then aid  connectomes to establish and to diversify. The mapping images and technologies may be at least inspirational.
Anyway. Thank you neuroscientists for this amazing material! And good luck for further work!

Pictures on this page are taken from Hagmann et. al. (2008) 'Mapping the Structural Core of Human Cerebral Cortex' PLoS Biol 6(7)

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