What is architecture? In its traditional setting of buildings, architecture may be defined as the shaping of space for human use. In the case of nervous systems, “architecture” may be taken as the collection of structural elements that enable behaviors, both intrinsic and stimulus driven. This architecture may be studied at different levels of organization: intra-cellular networks (gene regulatory networks as well as protein interaction networks), intra-cellular neural networks (local microcircuits, mesocircuits between anatomical regions) as well as organization on a larger scale of organ systems in the body (neuroendocrine and peripheral nervous systems). Shaped by the evolutionary process, nervous system architecture enables behaviors important for survival and adaption to the environment.
Our knowledge about nervous system architecture is fragmented and incomplete. For even the best studied rodent species, we only have a partial knowledge about brain connectivity. Further, the knowledge that is present in the literature is spread across research articles, textbooks, electronic databases and datasets, and even as samples on laboratory shelves. The goal of the Brain Architecture Project is both to collate this information from the literature sources, and also to generate primary data sets that enable such information integration. Some major subprojects are detailed below and others may be explored through the sub-menus on the portal.
Mouse Brain Architecture Project
Further information about the MBAP may be found at the main website for the project.
Text Mining for Neuroanatomy
We have manually curated a relatively small set of papers that describe classical neuroantomical methods applied to the human brain. The extracted information is available in our Human Brain Connectivity Database. Additionally, we have developed a specialized search engine to probe a large corpus of full-text articles using semantic queries related to brain architecture.