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2 Janelia Publications

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    10/06/19 | The fly brain atlas.
    Scheffer LK, Meinertzhagen IA
    Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology. 2019 Oct 6;35:637-53. doi: 10.1146/annurev-cellbio-100818-125444

    The brain's synaptic networks endow an animal with powerfully adaptive biological behavior. Maps of such synaptic circuits densely reconstructed in those model brains, which can be examined and manipulated by genetic means, offer the best prospect for understanding the underlying biological bases of behavior. That prospect is now technologically feasible and a scientifically enabling possibility in neurobiology, much as genomics has been in molecular biology and genetics. In , two major advances are in electron microscopic technology, using focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) milling to capture and align digital images, and in computer-aided reconstruction of neuron morphologies. The last decade has witnessed enormous progress in detailed knowledge of the actual synaptic circuits formed by real neurons. Advances in various brain regions that heralded identification of the motion-sensing circuits in the optic lobe are now extending to other brain regions, with the prospect of encompassing the fly's entire nervous system, both brain and ventral nerve cord. Expected final online publication date for the Volume 35 is October 7, 2019. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

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    01/09/19 | Comparisons between the ON- and OFF-edge motion pathways in the brain.
    Shinomiya K, Huang G, Lu Z, Parag T, Xu CS, Aniceto R, Ansari N, Cheatham N, Lauchie S, Neace E, Ogundeyi O, Ordish C, Peel D, Shinomiya A, Smith C, Takemura S, Talebi I, Rivlin PK, Nern A, Scheffer LK, Plaza SM, Meinertzhagen IA
    eLife. 2019 Jan 09;8:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.40025

    Understanding the circuit mechanisms behind motion detection is a long-standing question in visual neuroscience. In , recent synapse-level connectomes in the optic lobe, particularly in ON-pathway (T4) receptive-field circuits, in concert with physiological studies, suggest an increasingly intricate motion model compared with the ubiquitous Hassenstein-Reichardt model, while our knowledge of OFF-pathway (T5) has been incomplete. Here we present a conclusive and comprehensive connectome that for the first time integrates detailed connectivity information for inputs to both T4 and T5 pathways in a single EM dataset covering the entire optic lobe. With novel reconstruction methods using automated synapse prediction suited to such a large connectome, we successfully corroborate previous findings in the T4 pathway and comprehensively identify inputs and receptive fields for T5. While the two pathways are likely evolutionarily linked and indeed exhibit many similarities, we uncover interesting differences and interactions that may underlie their distinct functional properties.

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