Saturday, October 17, 2015

A Map of the Brain:
      Notes on TED Talk Allan Jones of Allen Institute

Bill Yates
Brain Posts
Oct 10, 2015

Here are my notes on the above TED where Allen Jones CEO of the Allen Brain Institute reviews what type of research procedures are used on their human brain back brains.

A Map of the Brain: My Notes

Humans have long been fascinated by the human brain

We now have a transformation in brain mapping for various brain structures
* Rear brain contains cerebellum for posture, balance
* Mid-brain temporal lobe controls language
* Frontal cortex key in thought and decision making

Historically, brain staining aids in understanding brain microstructure distribution
Neuron distribution is linked to brain function
Genes control brain proteins and neurons
We want to know what genes out of 25,000 candidates are turned on in the brain

We find human brains to study after death
* 20 to 60 year olds
* No psychiatric or drug abuse history
* Males oversampled due to higher rates of accidental death

Our process for brain study
* Magnetic resonance imaging (MR)
* Diffustion tensor imaging (DTI)
* Brain slices for RNA purification
* Brain slices for gene activation reference map

1000 samples taken from each brain with 50,000 datapoints per brain=1,000,000 datapoints per brain

Data made publicly available to scientists around the world

We map where genes are turned on in specific brain regions

What have we learned?
* CNS drugs like fluoxetine (Prozac) modulate serotonin gene function
* We can scan brain for drug effects for new drug development

What makes us individuals is important but we are 99% genetically the same.

Follow the author on Twitter WRY999.

Photo of sunrise in St. Peterburg, FL from the authors files. Terms of Use

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