Connectomic approaches before the connectome

Marco Catani, Michel Thiebaut de Schotten, David Slater, Flavio Dell'Acqua
NeuroImage. 2013-10-01; 80: 2-13
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.05.109

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1. Neuroimage. 2013 Oct 15;80:2-13. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.05.109. Epub 2013
Jun 2.

Connectomic approaches before the connectome.

Catani M(1), Thiebaut de Schotten M, Slater D, Dell’Acqua F.

Author information:
(1)Natbrainlab, King’s College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Department of
Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Sciences, London SE5 8AF, UK.

Connectome is a term with a short history but a long past. Since the origins of
neuroscience the concept of a ‘map of neural connections’ has been a constant
inspiring idea for those who believed the brain as the organ of intellect. A
myriad of proto-connectome maps have been produced throughout the centuries, each
one reflecting the theory and method of investigation that prevailed at the time.
Even contemporary definitions of the connectome rest upon the formulation of a
neuronal theory that has been proposed over a hundred years ago. So, what is new?
In this article we attempt to trace the development of certain anatomical and
physiological concepts at the origins of modern definitions of the connectome. We
argue that compared to previous attempts current connectomic approaches benefit
from a wealth of imaging methods that in part could justify the enthusiasm for
finally succeeding in achieving the goal. One of the unique advantages of
contemporary approaches is the possibility of using quantitative methods to
define measures of connectivity where structure, function and behaviour are
integrated and correlated. We also argue that many contemporary maps are
inaccurate surrogates of the true anatomy and a comprehensive connectome of the
human brain remains a far distant point in the history to come.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.05.109
PMID: 23735262 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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