Most advances in human neuroscience rely on work done in non-human animal models. While numerous species have been used to model the human brain, the mouse has emerged as the most prominent of these, due to its rapid life cycle, straightforward husbandry, and amenability to genetic engineering. Unfortunately, our understanding how well brain organization is conserved between model species and humans is far from complete due to the laborious, costly, and invasive nature of traditional comparative experiments. As a result of our incomplete understanding of between-species correspondence in brain architecture, the translation of results from our most popular model brain to the human brain often fails. Addressing this problem requires a framework for quantitative between-species translation, that allows formal predictions in one species based on another, assessments of the validity of a particular model, and quantifications of similarities and differences between species. I will present work from our lab and collaborators towards such a framework.

Rogier B. Mars
Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, University of Oxford
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen

Rogier Mars – Quantitative translational neuroscience: Towards formal mouse-human predictions