Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Connectome

PostedApril 8, 2012

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Anchor Lede: Our brains all look pretty much the same from the outside. To truly understand what makes each one different, a quest is on to reverse engineer our most complex organ.

Randy Atkins: A unique personality is somehow programmed into your brain. Sebastian Seung, a computational neuroscientist at M-I-T, is trying to decipher the way that happens…and how personal memories are made.

Sebastian Seung: One very important hypothesis is that the information in your memories is somehow encoded in the connectome, that unique map of your brain’s connections.

Randy Atkins: Seung says a connectome looks like an airline flight map, but…

Sebastian Seung: For your brain, it would have to be a hundred billion cities and ten thousand flights emanating from every city.

Randy Atkns: Connecting those dots is a massive job…but Seung is engineering the techniques to do it, both in his lab and on a website asking the public for help called eyewire, that’s e-y-e-w-i-r-e, dot-org. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.