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Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Healthy and Diseased Brain Networks

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194353 Year: Pages: 365 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-435-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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An important aspect of neuroscience is to characterize the underlying connectivity patterns of the human brain (i.e., human connectomics). Over the past few years, researchers have demonstrated that by combining a variety of different neuroimaging technologies (e.g., structural MRI, diffusion MRI and functional MRI) with sophisticated analytic strategies such as graph theory, it is possible to noninvasively map the patterns of structural and functional connectivity of human whole-brain networks. With these novel approaches, many studies have shown that human brain networks have nonrandom properties such as modularity, small-worldness and highly connected hubs. Importantly, these quantifiable network properties change with age, learning and disease. Moreover, there is growing evidence for behavioral and genetic correlates. Network analysis of neuroimaging data is opening up a new avenue of research into the understanding of the organizational principles of the brain that will be of interest for all basic scientists and clinical researchers. Such approaches are powerful but there are a number of challenging issues when extracting reliable brain networks from various imaging modalities and analyzing the topological properties, e.g., definitions of network nodes and edges and reproducibility of network analysis. We assembled contributions related to the state-of-the-art methodologies of brain connectivity and the applications involving development, aging and neuropsychiatric disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and mood and anxiety disorders. It is anticipated that the articles in this Research Topic will provide a greater range and depth of provision for the field of imaging connectomics.

Quantitative analysis of neuroanatomy

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197965 Year: Pages: 244 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-796-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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The true revolution in the age of digital neuroanatomy is the ability to extensively quantify anatomical structures and thus investigate structure-function relationships in great detail. Large-scale projects were recently launched with the aim of providing infrastructure for brain simulations. These projects will increase the need for a precise understanding of brain structure, e.g., through statistical analysis and models. From articles in this Research Topic, we identify three main themes that clearly illustrate how new quantitative approaches are helping advance our understanding of neural structure and function. First, new approaches to reconstruct neurons and circuits from empirical data are aiding neuroanatomical mapping. Second, methods are introduced to improve understanding of the underlying principles of organization. Third, by combining existing knowledge from lower levels of organization, models can be used to make testable predictions about a higher-level organization where knowledge is absent or poor. This latter approach is useful for examining statistical properties of specific network connectivity when current experimental methods have not yet been able to fully reconstruct whole circuits of more than a few hundred neurons.

Imaging Synapse Structure and Function

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889451753 Year: Pages: 125 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-175-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-08-28 14:01:09
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Development of new imaging technologies in recent years has transformed neuroscience in profound ways. Following on the heels of the revolution based on the Green Fluorescent Protein, refined genetically-encoded fluorescent reporters and genetic targeting strategies now enable optical recording of synaptic transmission in defined neuronal populations at speeds approaching the enviable temporal resolution of electrophysiology. Super-resolution light microscopy permits observation of synapses and their molecular machinery at sub-diffraction resolution. At the ultrastructural level, automated forms of electron microscopy, improvements in specimen fixation methods, and recent efforts to correlate data from light and electron micrographs now make the reconstruction of functional neural circuits a reality. Finally, the use of optogenetic actuators, such as channelrhodopsins, allows precise temporal and spatial manipulation of neuronal activity and is revealing profound insights into the organization of neural circuits and their roles in behavior. This research topic highlights recent advances in both light and electron microscopy, with a specific focus on approaches that combine innovations from several different fields to obtain novel information about synapse structure and function. We are confident that this collection of articles - three original research papers, six reviews, one methods paper and one perspective article - will enable neuroscientists to achieve the next generation of experiments aimed at cracking the neural code.

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