Scientists unveil first-ever map of insect brain

Fly brain mapping took researchers 12 years to complete
<p>The complete set of neurons in an insect brain.</p>

The complete set of neurons in an insect brain.

In an incredible breakthrough, scientists have completed the first-ever comprehensive map of an insect’s brain.

The complete map—which was built after researchers scanned thousands of slices of the larva’s brain— shows every single neuron in the brain of a baby fruit fly, and how they are wired together.

As well as mapping the 3,016 neurons, they mapped an incredible 548,000 synapses.

The research was conducted by a team of scientists from Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology based at the University of Cambridge, along with colleagues from the University of Cambridge and Johns Hopkins University, and has revealed the intricate neural networks of a small, flying insect, the common fruit fly.

The map, which was published in the Science journal, reveals the complexity of the insect brain and the intricate connections between neurons which allow the insect to respond to its environment.

The team reconstructed the resulting images into a map of the fly’s brain and painstakingly annotated the connections between neurons.

The breakthrough has the potential to revolutionize understanding of insect behavior, paving the way for new insect-inspired technologies.

The fly brain mapping took researchers 12 years to complete, with the imaging alone taking about a day per neuron.

It is the largest complete brain connectome described yet, say researchers.

The breakthrough marks a major step forward in understanding how brains work, and could lead to new treatments and therapies for neurological disorders.

The resulting map is a stunning visualization of the intricate network of connections within the insect brain.

It shows how different regions of the brain are connected and how information flows between them, providing insight into how the fly processes sensory information, makes decisions, and controls its behavior.

The implications of this research have the potential to extend beyond basic neuroscience, said scientists.


Insect brain

university of cambridge

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