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BRAIN Initiative: Next Generation Technologies for Brain Microconnectivity Analysis


Greg Farber, Ph.D.
Office of Technology Development and Coordination


This concept aims to seek research to develop and pilot next generation technologies for examining brain microconnectivity in multiple species as part of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative. Researchers would be expected to provide preliminary validation that the developed technologies can be scaled for use in the research community.


The BRAIN 2025 report  calls for a complete and accurate mapping of neural circuit structure in human and animal brains. The report, The BRAIN Initiative 2.0: From Cells to Circuits, Toward Cures , highlights the importance of two goals for advancing understanding of the relationship between neuronal structure and function: a) The creation of a circuit diagram of the entire mouse brain at the electron microscopy level integrating in vivo functional and molecular correlates, and b) The comprehensive mapping of long-range pathways in whole brains of non-human primates and humans. The ability to map connected neurons in local circuits and distributed brain systems is progressing but the need for faster, more cost-effective, and scalable technologies remains. The aim of this concept is to improve technologies for brain microconnectivity analysis. Researchers would be expected to provide initial validation that the developed technologies can to be scaled up for large-scale brain connectomics research.