Physiology and Biophysics

September 23, 2020

Forrest Collman (Allen Institute): Cell-type and cell specific connectivity in mouse visual cortex

October 22, 2020 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am

Cell-type and cell specific connectivity in mouse visual cortex

Forrest Collman, Ph.D.

Allen Institute
Seminar abstract: Mammalian cortex is striking in its diversity of layers and cell types.  The structure of cortical circuits is shaped by developmental programs where specificity in synapse formation and elimination create  highly specific patterns of cell type specific connectivity.  The cortex is also playing a key role is encoding structural changes that reflect specific experiences and are presumably encoded in structural and molecular changes in individual neurons and the synapses between them.  In order to be able more fully understand the purpose of the diverse set of components that exist in the cortex, we’d like to disentangle cortical connectivity into distinct factors that reflect both a cells type and its individual identity.  Recent progress in large scale electron microscopy and semi-automated methods for tracing connections is creating an opportunity to address these questions at scale.  At the Allen Institute for Brain Science we have produced several large scale cortical EM volumes and with our collaborators have begun extracting biological insights from the raw images.  In this seminar I’ll briefly describe the datasets we have produced, describe some of our early findings in this area and surprises these data have shown us, and sketch out what the future opportunities are for the community to engage with these remarkable datasets. Background on team: data release website: host: Adrienne Fairhall