About the work

With over 100 billion nodes, the human brain is perhaps the most complex network known to science. Neuroscientists call whole brain networks “the connectome,” and until recently they were unmappable. Yet given the important role the connectome plays in brain function and consciousness, Barabási has had a longstanding interest in trying to understand its structure.


The Mouse Connectome, by A.-L. Barabási,
J. Brum, N. Dehmami, A. Grishchenko, and E. Towlson, created in 2019 to accompany a forth-coming paper.

The BarabásiLab’s first attempt to visualize this network was a 3-D rendition of the connectome of the mouse brain. The configuration is based on data collected over the course of a multi-year project at the Allan Institute, a bioscience research center in Seattle. The Mouse Connectome was laid out using the same algorithm that generated The Flavor Network. Its arrangement unveils the exceptional complexity of the brain’s wiring patterns. Some images capture the full connectome, while others  zooms into one densely packed section—or local neighborhood—of the mouse brain’s wiring.