Sunday, August 09, 2015

3D Model of Brain Cortex Cells

There are few technologies that have been as useful for advancing our understanding of the world as computer imaging & 3D modeling.

Using computers and software to simulate previously unknowable systems, we can visualize phenomena from the microscopic to the cosmic scale. One area where these visualizations are extremely helpful is in biology and anatomy. The human body is an extraordinary collection of parts & processes, and there are aspects of it that can only be experienced through computer simulation.

I recently saw this article about the imaging of a small slice of a mouse's brain neocortex, or gray matter.

Huffington Post:

The neocortex is the outer area of the brain that is responsible for complex information processing. The area of brain tissue that was studied was smaller than the cross-section of a human hair, and was sliced up into extremely thin slices. The slices were scanned & the area was reconstructed digitally, so it could be analyzed in precise detail.

The imaged area was based around two nerve cells, and included all the other cells that intersected that densely-packed space. The different cells are encoded using colors to differentiate them. The awesome thing about having a digital model is that the various elements can be separated, isolated, and manipulated to understand their different aspects.

I am fascinated by these kinds of studies and the insight they give into ourselves & the incomprehensibly complex nature of our bodies.

Here is a link to the study from Harvard University:

This short video gives a concise description of the study & the visual representations of the cortical tissue.

I've previously posted about the complexity found within single one of these brain cells.

The Monkey Buddha Archives:

 Reality consists of infinite layers of endless detail, that exists on all scales

No comments: