AI Brain Map Could Help Us Understand Alzheimer’s and Autism

( – Neuroscientists at a Florida University have discovered an advanced technology method using artificial intelligence to map the brain which they believe would help demystify Autism and Alzheimer’s disease and other related disorders.

The team from the auditory development and connections laboratory at the University of South Florida has been using artificial intelligence and virtual reality to create a visual timeline of the neurons in the brains of mice. This complex technology provides a three-dimensional rendering of the chronology of the brain in its earliest formations. Then they are run through a large language model and analyzed for any changes.

The studies have been focused on the calyx of Held, the largest nerve terminal in the brain of all mammals, which is what processes sound. Dr George Spirou, professor of medical engineering at USF, said, “The information can help us understand serious developmental disorders that happen when the brain doesn’t develop properly early on.”

He continued, “Maybe we’ll find the keys to some developmental disorders. And in the situation of traumatic physical injury or neural degeneration, is there a way that we can kind of recapitulate development?”

The virtual reality software, created by Spirou, is used to examine the neurons in the images; it helps to analyze the synapsis where they connect and communicate. “The VR platform imports huge amounts of data and is able to look at it and understand it in 3D. There’s just no way to do it on a 2D screen,” he said.

He continued to explain that they are looking at the development in mice because of the similarity in the “microcosm of human gestation.”

This project has been in partnership with multiple scientists from universities such as the Oregon Health & Science University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of California at San Diego.

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