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Brain scan synapses simple

  1. Feb 1, 2016 #1
    I'm looking for an efficient way to scan the brain for synapses, my previous thread contain solution that suggested by injecting a virus to create solar roof on the neurons a sort of electromagnetic pulse can be detected to light up the neurons. Now I am looking for another way without having to inject a virus. Are there other methods available now for scanning the brain synapses?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 2, 2016 #2

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

  4. Feb 2, 2016 #3

    Dale

    Staff: Mentor

    This doesn't make sense. There are over 100 trillion synapses in a typical brain.

    This is like asking for a technique to scan the ocean for water.
     
  5. Feb 2, 2016 #4
    There is no current technology that can allow us to visualise an individual synapse at work. They can only really be looked at by electron microscopes, perhaps in cultured neurones outside of an organism. However what would you want to do with this information? neurones often interconnect with up to 10,000 others, all of these potentially trying to influence its action potential, they then sit in a neurochemical bath which also influences its behaviour. Even within an individual synapse there are a range of different receptor types with a variety of functions. It is possible to look at the activity in neurochemical pathways using PET scans but you would need to think about what it was you wanted to know before thinking about a technology to investigate it.
    I expect the "solar roof" idea might be worth following up if it attracted a government subsidy.:)
     
  6. Feb 3, 2016 #5
    Jedishrfu, cool, that is where I got the solar roof idea. Laroxe, the problem with the solar roof idea is you need to be looking inside the brain to capture the infrared pulse. The problem with MRI scan is it does not have high enough resolution, and I don't think it capture the nerve impulse as well. Dale, well, I would like to scan the entire brain and have all the synapses show up in my computer as well as where and how the nerve impulses fire. For now I am just examining the type of scan and technology that would enable me to scan the brain to do such a task. I can worry about the hardware a bit later since it is constantly improving over time.
     
  7. Feb 3, 2016 #6

    Dale

    Staff: Mentor

    You are talking about something like 70 petabytes of data per second. The technology to do the scan does not exist, and the technology to move the data from the brain to your computer does not exist. Maybe those will both be solved in the future, but not now.
     
  8. Feb 4, 2016 #7
    For MRI it creates an image in the computer through a Fourier Transform method. The solar roof method works, but you need to look inside the brain to retrieve that glow. If there is a way to retrieve this glow from outside let me know
     
  9. Feb 4, 2016 #8

    Dale

    Staff: Mentor

    Yes, that is my personal area of expertise. We are nowhere near the kind of resolution needed to image individual synapses, by many orders of magnitude.
     
  10. Feb 4, 2016 #9
    Ya, it's a hard one
     
  11. Feb 9, 2016 #10
    Hmm, is there a way to increase the MRI reading speed? How long does MRI takes to produce an image? Can it be updated in real time?
     
  12. Feb 9, 2016 #11
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