Department of Mathematics

Complex system working lunch (CoSy): The quest for the wiring diagram of the brain

  • Date: 20 March, 12:15–13:00
  • Location: Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1 Å4003
  • Lecturer: Fred Hamprecht
  • Organiser: CIM
  • Contact person: Marcus Westerberg
  • Seminarium

The quest for the wiring diagram of the brain - Where computer vision, deep neural networks and combinatorial optimization meet

Understanding the brain is an old and yet-unsolved problem. To
understand the workings of a neural circuit, it is possibly required to
know its structure, and almost surely necessary to know its connectivity.
After great progress in electron microscopy, several labs worldwide are
milling away at animal brains and generating what will amount to
petabytes of high-quality data. The resulting images are good enough for
human tracers to consistently follow at least the majority of neural
processes; unfortunately, humans would take thousands of years to
complete the task for even the smallest mammalian brain.
So the quest is on for computer vision algorithms to do the same
automatically and reliably. The current state of the art pipelines recur
to deep neural networks and combinatorial graph partitioning problems.
The former are notoriously ill understood, the latter still expensive to
solve at scale. In this talk, I will sketch the problem, a state of the art approach
(which does not quite achieve human accuracy yet), and I will lay out
some of the open problems in the field.