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Developing tools to map the brain at synaptic resolution

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  • UserMarta Costa (Dept. Genetics) and Philipp Schlegel (Dept. Zoology / L.M.B)
  • ClockWednesday 07 December 2016, 18:30-20:00
  • HousePostdoc Centre, 16 Mill Lane.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Mark Dunning.

The Drosophila mushroom body (MB) is a complex neuropil, used as a model for associative memory storage and state-dependent behaviours. In an international effort, we are generating a wiring diagram of the MB and MB-associated neurons at synaptic resolution using an electron microscopy volume of the entire fruit fly brain. In order to manage a project on this scale, analytic tools have been developed to manage and analyse massive amounts of data.

One of these is NBLAST , a neuron similarity algorithm that compares the shape and position of two neurons, and returns a similarity score. NBLAST is able to distinguish neuron types and identify new ones. NBLAST can also be used to organise large datasets of neurons into groups of similar ones, making it easier to deal with big volumes of data.

We will describe the MB project, touching on technical challenges, the NBLAST algorithm, and its available resources.

This talk is part of the "Life Sciences Masterclass" series.

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