Building a connectome constrained model of the fruit fly visual system

Srinivas C. Turaga, PhD

We can now measure the connectivity of every neuron in a neural circuit, but we are still blind to other biological details, including the dynamical characteristics of each neuron. The degree to which connectivity measurements alone can inform understanding of neural computation is an open question.

We show that with only measurements of the connectivity of the motion pathways in the fruit fly optic lobe, we can predict the neural activity underlying motion computations. Our mechanistic model makes detailed experimentally testable predictions for each neuron in the connectome.

We found that model predictions agreed with experimental measurements of neural activity across 26 studies. Our work demonstrates a strategy for generating detailed hypotheses about the mechanisms of neural circuit function from connectivity measurements.

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