When neuroscience’s focus moves from molecular and cellular level to systems level, information technology mixes in and cultivates a new branch neuroinformatics. Especially under the investments of brain initiatives all around the world, brain atlases and connectomics are identified as the substructure to understand the brain. We think it is time to call for a potential interdisciplinary subject, brainsmatics, referring to brain-wide spatial informatics science and emphasizing on precise positioning information affiliated to brain-wide connectome, genome, proteome, transcriptome, metabolome, etc. Brainsmatics methodology includes tracing, surveying, visualizing, and analyzing brain-wide spatial information. Among all imaging techniques, optical imaging is the most appropriate solution to achieve whole-brain connectome in consistent single-neuron resolution. This review aims to introduce contributions of optical imaging to brainsmatics studies, especially the major strategies applied in tracing and surveying processes. After discussions on the state-of-the-art technology, the development objectives of optical imaging in brainsmatics field are suggested. We call for a global contribution to the brainsmatics field from all related communities such as neuroscientists, biologists, engineers, programmers, chemists, mathematicians, physicists, clinicians, pharmacists, etc. As the leading approach, optical imaging will, in turn, benefit from the prosperous development of brainsmatics.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited