About Connectomes Medical Institute

Connectomes.org is a website describing current efforts to comprehensively map out mammalian whole-brain connectivity and structure at the synaptic-level using high-throughput volume electron microscopy.

A connectome is a complete mapping of all connections, including every individual synapse and gap junction, between all neurons in a model organism’s brain. In other words, a comprehensive circuit diagram of the brain. Current approaches to mapping the connectomes of model organisms employ serial block face scanning electron microscopy (SBEM) and serial-section transmission electron microscopy (ssTEM). The only connectome that has been mapped out to date has been from the flatworm, C. elegans (shown above; Credit: openworm.org), which has only 302 neurons. Candidate future connectomes include the fly, with around 10,000 neurons, and the mouse brain, with 80 – 100 million neurons.