Moritz Helmstaedter

Max Planck Institute for Brain Research


Cerebral Cortex Connectomics
Brains are highly interconnected networks of millions to billions of neurons. For a century, we
have not been able to map these connectivity networks. Only recently, using novel electron
microscopy techniques and machine-learning based data analysis, the mapping of neuronal
networks has become possible at a larger scale. This new field of connectomics is still limited by
technology and requires next-generation human-machine interaction for data analysis, but it is
already starting to provide exciting insights into how neuronal circuits operate in the brain. Our
goal is to make connectomics a high-throughput screening technique for neuroscience, to use
connectomes for discovering brain-implemented algorithms, which may inspire novel machine
learning, to map the imprints of sensory experience onto neuronal networks in the brain, and to
investigate connectome alterations in models of psychiatric disease.