Mind map being pursued by the sliceDr. Lichtman and his team of researchers from Harvard are currently hard at work at some of the more unorthodox machinations that you and I would ever come across – how about an unusual contraption that carves off slivers of mouse brains as part of a quest to understand just how the mind works? We do hope that the slicing bit stops at mice, as I certainly would loathe having a machine turn my brain into a pack of cheddar cheese slices. The whole idea behind this machine is to run slice after minuscule slice under a powerful electron microscope, developing detailed pictures of the brain’s complex wiring followeg by stitching the images back together. In other words, to literally have a full mind map. This would result in fulfilling the quest of searching for a connectome – otherwise known as the mental makeup of a person. Of course, this task won’t be easy nor quick, as it is the equivalent (to a certain extent) of trying to untangle a bowl of spaghetti, as each individual spaghetti strand may touch tens of other strands as it weaves in a contorted fashion. To see where everything is connected on an atomic level – now that is something that might just blow away your brain (no pun intended).

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