Researchers have developed a new software tool that computes the vast network of neurons of the human brain in a faster way.
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg together with a group of over 70 students, mapped a network of more than 100 neurons using two new computer programs, KNOSSOS and RESCOP - and they did so faster and more accurately than with previous methods.
"Tracing the connections in the brain is at least as hard as finding your way out of a mythological labyrinth," explained Moritz Helmstaedter.
The KNOSSOS software considerably reduces the time required: It is about 50 times faster than other programs used up to now.
Moreover, its sophisticated algorithms enable RESCOP to detect and average out inaccuracies. This means that the reconstruction is not only faster, but also more reliable than before.
"For the first time ever, these new programs could make it possible for us to unravel the complicated neural network of the brain - a task far more complex than decoding the human genome," Winfried Denk stated.