July 12, 2021

by Carol Lynn Alpert

THE BRAIN MAPPERS, a captivating new 31-minute documentary film, has just been released by the Museum of Science. 

The race is on to produce a 3D map of every neural connection in the brain. Neuroscientists and imaging experts are working closely with experts in AI and machine learning to image and decode the trillions of tiny circuits that together produce thought, sensation, movement, and memory. This film presents their quest in vivid and intimate terms.

THE BRAIN MAPPERS was produced during the 2020-2021 COVID-19 pandemic, using an ingenious hybrid of remotely-directed and facilitated-onsite filming. (The results cannot be told apart from a fully-onsite production.) Interviewees include neuroscientist Jeff Lichtman and Mariela Petkova at Harvard, Kristen Harris at the University of Texas at Austin, Viren Jain at Google, Bobby Kasthuri at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, and Gerry Rubin and Gwyneth Card at the HHMI Janelia Research Campus.  Carol Lynn Alpert conceived and guided the film as executive producer; veteran NOVA filmmaker Larry Klein wrote and produced the film; Ryan Shepheard edited.

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This is the final deliverable of QSTORM-AO.  The Ohio State and University of Georgia teams persist in their quest to make breakthroughs in quantum dot diagnostic technology and super-resolution imaging, supported by other grants.  To our followers and to our many QSTORM teammates and trainees from 2010 to the present who have gone on to pursue fulfilling careers of their own; thank you, farewell, and best wishes.

- Carol Lynn