The brain undergoes significant development and reorganization during the transition from childhood to adulthood through adolescence. These changes are associated with a range of mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia.
Changes in the dopaminergic system – which controls many functions including motivation, attention, and mood – are especially evident during the teenage years and are thought to play a role in the increased vulnerability to mental disorders observed during this period.
Detailed neuroanatomical information on the changes in the dopaminergic system during adolescence could help scientists to further investigate this theory but unfortunately this type of information is not widely available.
A team of researchers has taken the first step to addressing this lack of information by uploading a collection of microscopic images showing the developing dopaminergic system in mice to the EBRAINS Knowledge Graph. This public data collection of images is especially useful as a benchmark reference for experiments using mouse models of dopamine-related disorders.
“We hope that this dataset will be used by the scientific community to ask novel questions about the development of the dopaminergic system and envision that it can serve as an important benchmark resource for anyone designing new studies on this system” says Ingvild Bjerke, one of the lead researchers.
The high-resolution images have been uploaded to EBRAINS as twenty datasets and are available to all researchers. The first dataset can be accessed here.
Read the full paper in Scientific Data