Nature Reviews Neuroscience 9, 417-422 (June 2008) | doi:10.1038/nrn2391

A technicolour approach to the connectome

Jeff W. Lichtman1, Jean Livet2 & Joshua R. Sanes1  About the authors


A central aim of neuroscience is to map neural circuits, in order to learn how they account for mental activities and behaviours and how alterations in them lead to neurological and psychiatric disorders. However, the methods that are currently available for visualizing circuits have severe limitations that make it extremely difficult to extract precise wiring diagrams from histological images. Here we review recent advances in this area, along with some of the opportunities that these advances present and the obstacles that remain.

Author affiliations

  1. Jeff W. Lichtman and Joshua R. Sanes are at the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Center for Brain Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.
  2. Jean Livet is at INSERM, UMR S592, Institut de la Vision, F-75012, Paris, France and at UPMC University of Paris 06, UMR S592, F-75005, Paris, France.

Correspondence to: Jeff W. Lichtman1 Email:

Published online 30 April 2008


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