The brain is a complex organ which is incredibly quick. It analyzes an amazing amount of data and information, much faster than even the quickest supercomputers ever made. However new technologies can decipher and monitor the brain activity and produce an incredible amount of data which can help researchers in gaining new insight into the brain and its manifold functions.
Researchers used a new technique known as ‘Thunder’ to look at brain activity in Zebra fish. Thunder is software which quickens the pace of analyzing data, something which otherwise will take weeks or even months to analyze. Researchers have used the software to find patterns in high-resolution images collected from the brains of zebra fish and mice.
The voluminous data was obtained from microscope developed to study and monitor every brain cells as they respond to visual stimuli. The immense volume of data would otherwise have taken hours to analyze and decrypted.
Group co-leader Jeremy Freeman said, “For a lot of these data sets, a single machine is just not going to cut it since the complexity of the data also exceeds the ability of a single computer to interpret it.”
The team was able to analyze the data in a matter of minutes, courtesy the new software, thunder. Integrating the latest imaging techniques along with thunder enabled the researchers to monitor brain activity as the fish received sensory information. The new techniques also helped researchers to identify cells which are associated with movement in particular directions as well as those which were active when the animal was at rest.
This is fantastic! A little more of this and they will be able to correlate the inputs to the outputs and simulate the whole zebra fish brain with just a small amount of resources. Then make an app where it swims in virtual water and you feed it virtual food! virtual pets are coming to the next level.