About the book
Neural connectivity is a topic that describes nerve cells in terms of their anatomical and functional connections. The term connectome refers to a comprehensive map of neural connections, like a wiring diagram of an organism’s nervous system. Connectomics, the study of connectomes, can be applied to individual neurons and their synaptic connections, as well as to connections between neuronal populations or to functional and structural connectivity of different brain regions.
This book will address neural connectivity at these various scales in health and disease. The chapters will review novel findings related to neuroanatomy and cell biology, neurophysiology, neural plasticity, changes of connectivity in neurological disorders, and sensory system connectivity. Technical advances in neuroscience research are a major catalyst for progress in neural connectivity research. Most recently, among these advances are genetic, optical, and optogenetic methods that allow researchers to manipulate single cells or neural circuits with subcellular precision, at microsecond timescales or through longitudinal electrophysiological and optical recordings. Novel experimental and conceptual approaches will pave the way to a more complete understanding of the functional consequences of changes in brain connectivity and their implication for physiology and pathophysiology. Targeted at students and researchers in biological, engineering, medical, and related disciplines, this book will provide an overview of the current work that is being done in this exciting field and will highlight any gaps and areas of neural connectivity that would benefit from further exploration.