Research Topic

Unveiling the structure and function of brain microcircuits: Experiments, algorithms and simulations

About this Research Topic

The brain is one of the most complex systems known to man and its components span several orders of magnitude from the nanometer to the centimeter. To understand the working principles of the different components of the brain, it is necessary to unveil the structure, function, and interactions of its building blocks - neuronal microcircuits. There are groups of synaptically connected cells that are responsible for neuronal signal processing, integration, and coordination. In the last decades, experimental studies of neuronal microcircuits using many different techniques, such as paired (multiple) recordings, in vivo and in vitro Ca2+ imaging, optogenetics, super-resolution light microscopy, tissue clearing, viral tracing, electron microscopy, have greatly expanded our knowledge of the connectivity rules and dynamical properties in different neural systems. In parallel, computer simulations of biophysically realistic neuronal network models such as the Blue Brain Project and the Allen Brain Modeling ToolKit have deepened our understanding of the brain and provided a testbed for new theories and hypotheses. However, a full understanding of synaptic signal processing and neuronal computation at the level of neuronal microcircuits is still an open and important question.

In addition to experimental approaches, new challenges and opportunities arise in the development of sophisticated analysis algorithms and large-scale neuronal simulations which is indispensable to uncover the mysteries of the brain microcircuits. In this research topic, we would like to collect papers on experiments, algorithms and simulations for exploring the microcircuit structure and function, which is an important step toward decoding the healthy and diseased brain.


Keywords: neuron, synapse, electrophysiology, morphology, simulation


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The brain is one of the most complex systems known to man and its components span several orders of magnitude from the nanometer to the centimeter. To understand the working principles of the different components of the brain, it is necessary to unveil the structure, function, and interactions of its building blocks - neuronal microcircuits. There are groups of synaptically connected cells that are responsible for neuronal signal processing, integration, and coordination. In the last decades, experimental studies of neuronal microcircuits using many different techniques, such as paired (multiple) recordings, in vivo and in vitro Ca2+ imaging, optogenetics, super-resolution light microscopy, tissue clearing, viral tracing, electron microscopy, have greatly expanded our knowledge of the connectivity rules and dynamical properties in different neural systems. In parallel, computer simulations of biophysically realistic neuronal network models such as the Blue Brain Project and the Allen Brain Modeling ToolKit have deepened our understanding of the brain and provided a testbed for new theories and hypotheses. However, a full understanding of synaptic signal processing and neuronal computation at the level of neuronal microcircuits is still an open and important question.

In addition to experimental approaches, new challenges and opportunities arise in the development of sophisticated analysis algorithms and large-scale neuronal simulations which is indispensable to uncover the mysteries of the brain microcircuits. In this research topic, we would like to collect papers on experiments, algorithms and simulations for exploring the microcircuit structure and function, which is an important step toward decoding the healthy and diseased brain.


Keywords: neuron, synapse, electrophysiology, morphology, simulation


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

28 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

28 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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