Connectomics, the study of circuit architecture, has the potential to reveal the connectivity of any brain or brain area with single-synapse resolution. This is extremely exciting but at the same time quite daunting. The exciting part is obvious. The daunting part is less so, and relates to the challenge of extracting principles from overwhelming masses of high-resolution data. You might say that it is a nice problem to have, and I will agree. What I will argue here is that, if our goal is to derive from such data a general and theoretical understanding of the brain, wemust nowmore than ever take advantage of comparative approaches.
About the author
A French citizen, was born in 1960 in Casablanca, Morocco. After a Ph D in Neuroethology from the University Paul Sabatier of Toulouse (France) and a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1985, he worked as a post doc and a Locke Research Fellowof the Royal Society at the University of Cambridge/UK. In 1990, he joined the faculty of the Biology Division at the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA, USA), where he became Lawrence A. Hanson Professor of Biology in the field of “Computation and Neural Systems” in 2002.His interests are in experimental and computational neuroscience, with anemphasis on coding and circuit computation in the olfactory and visual systems. In 2008, Gilles Laurent was appointed Director of the Department of Neural Systems and Coding at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt am Main (Germany).
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