The NIH as part of its Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies [BRAIN] Initiative, recently announced the BRAIN Initiative Cell Atlas Network, or BICAN, to “map 200 billion cells in the human brain by their type and function as well as create a primate brain atlas.”
Part of the objective is that, “to understand how the brain works mechanistically [we] must understand the basic cell types that make up neuronal circuit and how they are wired together to give rise to function and to understand the causes of neuropsychiatric diseases.”
The project is a reinvigorating leap forward towards new answers about the brain—an intricately complex organ. However, cellular and molecular neuroscience studies are not in short supply across research labs globally. Advances in neuroscience have mostly been around cells and molecules.
There would be a lot to learn from BICAN, but it may not divulge enough story of the brain necessary “to understand the causes of neuropsychiatric diseases.”
In any serious mental illness, there is a problem with thoughts. In any state of good mental health, there are properties of thought that structure the felt tranquility.
Thought properties define all neuropsychiatric disease experiences, exceeding the ‘function’ of neurons, to their build or construct. There are things people generally avoid against social, cultural or economic norms, because thought goes to locations where the consequences are known, to not. But there are people with neuropsychiatric diseases, without the ability for their thoughts to go there to know, so they break.
In general, seeing, hearing or touching something, at different instances could be responsible for anxiety, fear, trauma, depression, delight, laughter and so on, respectively. Whatever is expressed is that senses become thought versions, those thought versions become prioritized [full action and attention] and make their way to destinations to bring anyone of those to bear.
It is the thought and memory function of experiences that are poles of mental health and diseases. People often say dopamine hit, but no one ever experiences dopamine, serotonin or other brain molecules, it is what they become for experience—by memory, that makes that determination.
It is possible to crave something badly, or say have dopamine secretion, but the fear of consequences, or exposure if carried out in that moment would prevent doing so. This makes dopamine a subordinate of the overall build or construct for memory.
Thought can acquire cravings by going to the store of cravings. Then, depending on what stores the thought went before or bounces towards, subsequently—an element’s [rep] binds to cravings: it could be food, a drink, drugs, a trip, and so on. There are other instances where the thought does not proceed to the cravings store, so when the element is seen, heard, smelled, touched or tasted it is not craved.
What is urgent across brain science and related fields is the rules of thought transport in the brain and how they acquire properties that decide experiences.
This is where virtual reality may come in, displaying or showing what neuroimaging cannot. The feature could be subsumed with games, or other VR applications.
Exploring brain cell atlas for specific functions may tell a part of their actions. When that part is used to develop medications, there would be various side effects, because one cell, a group or molecules, constitute different sets of constructs, so inhibiting or inducing one helps, then doesn’t.