Advertisement
Research Article

The Interscutularis Muscle Connectome

  • Ju Lu,

    Affiliations: Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America, Center for Brain Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America

    X
  • Juan Carlos Tapia,

    Affiliations: Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America, Center for Brain Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America

    X
  • Olivia L White,

    Affiliation: Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America

    X
  • Jeff W Lichtman mail

    To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: jeff@mcb.harvard.edu

    Affiliations: Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America, Center for Brain Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America

    X
  • Published: February 10, 2009
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000032

Reader Comments (2)

Post a new comment on this article

Response to

Posted by plosbiology on 07 May 2009 at 22:29 GMT

Author: Ju Lu
Position: Postdoctoral Fellow
Institution: Jeff Lichtman Lab, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Center for Brain Science, Harvard University
E-mail: julu@fas.harvard.edu
Additional Authors: Jeff W. Lichtman
Submitted Date: February 16, 2009
Published Date: February 23, 2009
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

Although there is no generally accepted definition of "connectome," we would like to use the term to mean something slightly different from neural circuit." In our opinion, "connectome" refers to the complete wiring diagram at the cellular level of a particular instantiation of a neural circuit (either the entire nervous system or a subnetwork of it). We provided an argument on how completeness distinguishes the connectomic approach from conventional circuit analysis using sparse labeling, pair-wise recording, data-pooling from multiple samples and a probabilistic interpretation of the data.

It seems to us that the anatomical and physiological information about the STG network has been obtained primarily through conventional approaches and the circuit diagrams (e.g., Fig. 1b in Nusbaum & Beenhakker 2002) are "generic" rather than specific to one individual animal. However, as Marder and colleagues have shown, there is substantial variability in membrane currents and mRNA expression levels (Schulz et al. 2006), as well as neuronal morphology (Bucher et al. 2007) among the neurons of the same identifiable type in STG. These results suggest that at the single cell and synaptic level, there may be substantial differences in the wiring diagrams from animal to animal. Thus the full wiring diagram, or connectome, would have to be "individualized" to each specific animal to reveal whether such variability exists. To our knowledge, no such connectome has been obtained yet.

References

Bucher D, Johnson CD, Marder E. (2007) “Neuronal morphology and neuropil structure in the stomatogastric ganglion of the lobster, Homarus americanus.” J. Comp. Neurol. 501(2):185-205.

Nusbaum MP, Beenhakker MP. (2002) “A small-systems approach to motor pattern generation.” Nature. 417:343-350.

Schulz DJ, Goaillard JM, Marder E. (2006) “Variable channel expression in identified single and electrically coupled neurons in different animals.” Nat. Neurosci. 9(3):356-62.

No competing interests declared.