Human brain
The human brain is without doubt one of the most fascinating works of nature. It is a complex network of about 86 billion neurons, with each neuron possibly being a complex machine itself. There are ongoing efforts for obtaining both micro scale and macro scale connectomes of the human brain. Brain graphs of about 1000 nodes are already possible to calculate. These graphs describe connections between cortical and subcortical areas.

Why is it important to understand the human connectome?

A very popular reason is that if we could fully understand the human brain, it would enable us to create artificial brains which could, after further development, surpass human intelligence and make our lives better. A more technical reason is simulating the effect of pharmaceuticals on the brain, or just understand our mind. However, simply knowing the graph is only one step towards these goals, as we know little of the actual computational power of the individual neurons. On one hand, our ability to simulate the brain depends on our knowledge of the network of the neurons, but, on the other hand, we have to understand the neurons themselves.

Connectome-related resources

PIT Bioinformatics Group mapped the macro scale structural connectome of a great number of subjects using the diffusion MRI scans on Human Connectome Project. You can view and download these connectomes from these pages:


The network of the brain