Chapter

Genome and Connectome

Larry W. Swanson

in Brain Architecture

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195378580
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199965120 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780195378580.003.1123
Genome and Connectome

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The view of nervous system structure-function architecture presented so far is classical neuroscience; it is based on the organization of a neural network constructed of fundamental units, neurons. But a seemingly very different way of looking at nervous system function has emerged recently; it is based on changing global gene expression patterns in the nervous system during the course of the life cycle. Currently there is no obvious relationship between the organization of individual functional systems and global gene expression patterns. Instead, individual genes are generally expressed across functional systems in a seemingly random pattern. However, the relationship between nervous system structure-function organization and gene expression patterns is so important that a major goal of systems neuroscience in this century is to gain a systematic knowledge of all mesoconnections in the mammalian nervous system and to create global models of the basic plan, the basic wiring diagram—and to compare rigorously this plan with a comprehensive account of gene expression patterns. The 20th century established the sequence of DNA and how to study its functional organization, the Genome and Genomics, and the 21st century will establish the global wiring diagram of the nervous system and how to study its functional organization, the Connectome and Connectomics. The goal is to understand the relationship between gene networks and neural networks.

Chapter.  1497 words. 

Subjects: Development of the Nervous System

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