Recording thousands of cells like it’s nobody’s business

Is this what the world is now? Recording thousands of cells per paper? After the 14000 neuron magnum opus from Markram, comes a paper from Jiang et al recording 11000 neurons. When your paper is tossing off bombs like:

We performed simultaneous octuple whole-cell recordings in acute slices prepared from the primary visual cortex (area V1)

and figures like:

octuple recordings

you know you are doing something right. How much do you think this cost compared to the Blue Brain project? (Seriously: I have no sense of the scale of the costs for BBP, nor this.)

I will try to read this more closely later, but I will leave you with the abstract and some neural network candy for now:

Since the work of Ramón y Cajal in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, neuroscientists have speculated that a complete understanding of neuronal cell types and their connections is key to explaining complex brain functions. However, a complete census of the constituent cell types and their wiring diagram in mature neocortex remains elusive. By combining octuple whole-cell recordings with an optimized avidin-biotin-peroxidase staining technique, we carried out a morphological and electrophysiological census of neuronal types in layers 1, 2/3, and 5 of mature neocortex and mapped the connectivity between more than 11,000 pairs of identified neurons. We categorized 15 types of interneurons, and each exhibited a characteristic pattern of connectivity with other interneuron types and pyramidal cells. The essential connectivity structure of the neocortical microcircuit could be captured by only a few connectivity motifs.

NN candy

Read it here.

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