What’s a Connectome?

Image by Kate Shaw, Ars Technica.

Connectome (noun): A comprehensive map of all the connections in a nervous system.


The term is often used in connection with the human brain – for example, in efforts like the Human Connectome Project and the Open Connectome Project. This idea was first proposed by the neuroscientist Olaf Sporns, in his 2005 paper “The Human Connectome: A Structural Description of the Human Brain.”


It’s also excellently described in this short video, “I Am My Connectome.”



Connectomics (noun): The application of neural imaging, cutting-edge computing, and microscopic anatomy to improve our maps and models of a nervous system. Again, it’s often used to describe efforts to map connections in the human brain.


The Connectome (proper noun): A blog about incredibly cool things that are happening in neuroscience.


“Direct your eye right inward, and you’ll find a thousand regions in your mind yet undiscovered. Travel them, and be expert in home-cosmography.”
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