Ome sweet ome: what can the genome tell us about the connectome?

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2008 Jun;18(3):346-53. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2008.08.010.


Some neuroscientists argue that detailed maps of synaptic connectivity--wiring diagrams--will be needed if we are to understand how the brain underlies behavior and how brain malfunctions underlie behavioral disorders. Such large-scale circuit reconstruction, which has been called connectomics, may soon be possible, owing to numerous advances in technologies for image acquisition and processing. Yet, the community is divided on the feasibility and value of the enterprise. Remarkably similar objections were voiced when the Human Genome Project, now widely viewed as a success, was first proposed. We revisit that controversy to ask if it holds any lessons for proposals to map the connectome.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Genome / physiology*
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Human Genome Project / history
  • Humans
  • Neural Pathways / cytology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Synapses / physiology