Scientists aim to sync various brain maps to create ‘Google Maps’ for brain


Brain maps seem to come out in rapid succession these days. They take various forms: a map for word concepts, a map of individual cells’ activity, a map based on the organ’s physical contours.

But these maps often come along with a problem: They may not sync up with the other maps. Now[,] a group of scientists ha[s] managed to sync up two of the most commonly used types of brain maps — for gene expression and brain structure….

[The genetic maps made by the Allen Institute] has been likened to a Google Maps for the brain — a resource scientists can use to determine where they’re at in the brain and what genes are important there.

The gene map…could allow for whole new types of studies of how our brains’ gene expression correlates with our brain anatomy, behavior, and disease risk.

“So this is what I think the future is: making lots of maps, but then relating those maps to one another[,]” [stated Petra Vertes.]

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