Research Article

Dense connectomic reconstruction in layer 4 of the somatosensory cortex

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Science  29 Nov 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6469, eaay3134
DOI: 10.1126/science.aay3134

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Brain anatomy revealed in startling detail

The mammalian cerebral cortex is an enormously complex network of neuronal processes that are long and thin, branching, and extremely densely packed. This high packing density has made the reconstruction of cortical neuronal networks challenging. Motta et al. used advanced automated imaging and analysis tools to reconstruct with high spatial resolution the morphological features of 89 neurons and their connections in the mouse barrel cortex. The reconstruction covered an area more than two orders of magnitude larger than earlier neuroanatomical mapping attempts. This approach revealed information about the connectivity of inhibitory and excitatory synapses of corticocortical as well as excitatory thalamocortical connections.

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