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Neural Homologies: principles, databases and modeling

Domenii publicaţii > Biologie + Tipuri publicaţii > Tezã de doctorat (nepublicatã)

Autori: Mihail Bota

Editorial: 2001.


The concept of homology is central for understanding biological structures at different levels
of organization. The problem of establishing homologies at the level of central nervous
system is particularly important for explanation of the internal structures and functionality of
brain nuclei of interest from different species. The identification of neural homologies in
different species is problematic, since it involves the evaluation of a set of criteria which may
be considered as having different relative importances by different schools of comparative
neurobiology. The process of establishing homologies at the neural level should also address
the problem of heterogeneity of the neurobiological information provided by different
We propose here a theoretical framework for evaluation of the homologies at the neural
level. Central to this, is the concept of degree of homology (DG), proposed as an overall
measure of close brain structures from different species are. The evaluation of the degree of
homology depends on the structural and functional criteria that are used to compare brain
structures from different species.
In order to support the computation of DG as reflected from the literature, we have
developed two knowledge management systems (KMS) which allow the users to evaluate it
online from the inserted data. The KMS can be used both as summary databases for
neurobiological information and as expert systems for evaluation of the neurobiological
information as reflected in the literature.
Furthermore, the developed KMS allow users to evaluate the neuroanatomical connections
from data collated from the literature, infer the qualitative spatial relationships between cortical structures in different neuroanatomical atlases of a given species and translate the
connectivity information revealed in a atlas to other anatomical atlases.
The structures of the online KMS allow the insertion of neurobiological information specific
to dfifferent levels of organization of the nervous system and permit users to create personal
accounts, insert their own data and share it with other users inside of different groups.
In this way, we not only provide a theoretical framework for the objective evaluation of
similarities between brain structures, but also online KMS for systematization and sharing of
the neurobiological information.

Cuvinte cheie: neural homologies, expert system, knowledge management systems, computational neuroscience