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Neural Pointillism: Lighting Up the Brain in Psychedelic Relief [Slide Show]

Genetic engineering enables individual brain cells of research animals to ignite in brilliant color to trace the elaborate connections of a nervous system

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Box:

Reconstruction of a small-volume region of the cerebral cortex using automated serial section electron microscopy reveals the closely packed nerve cells.....[ More ]

Tangle:

A high magnification image of a region of the cerebral cortex is reconstructed with serial section electron microscopy, another new technique to map the connectome. The area in the center—look for tiny white threads—pinpoints the whereabouts of every nerve cell in that one location.....[ More ]

Modern Art:

A close-in image shows the cerebral cortex of a Brainbow mouse....[ More ]

Inputs:

A cross-section of a mouse cerebellum, a structure involved with regulating muscle activity, receives signals from the axons of mossy fiber neurons, the green branching threads.....[ More ]

Wiggle Map:

The entire connectome, a comprehensive tracing of nerve connections, is revealed for a small mouse muscle that wiggles the mouse’s ear (reconstruction from fluorescent protein-labeled muscle nerves).....[ More ]

Connections:

An image of a small region, taken with a confocal microscope, shows the point where the axons from spinal neurons link to muscle fibers.....[ More ]

Colored Ribbons:

Wire-like extensions from spinal neurons called axons connect to muscles (not shown).....[ More ]

Line of Lights:

A high-power closeup of the excitatory neurons in the hippocampus focuses on a region called the dentate gyrus.....[ More ]

On Switches:

A line of Brainbow-engineered cells in a mouse hippocampus glow brightly, revealing excitatory cells that make neurons fire in the folding structure ( middle and bottom ) that is intimately involved in forming new memories.....[ More ]

Support Cells:

Astrocytes, so-called support cells, which have been found in recent years to play a critical role in a multitude of brain functions, show up as colored tiling surrounding neurons, the dark ovals in this image of a mouse brain.....[ More ]

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