Friday, July 22, 2016

Updated Brain Map Identifies Nearly 100 New Regions

The brain looks like a featureless expanse of folds and bulges, but it’s actually carved up into invisible territories. Each is specialized: Some groups of neurons become active when we recognize faces, others when we read, others when we raise our hands.

Understanding the amazingly complex human cerebral cortex requires a map (or parcellation) of its major subdivisions, known as cortical areas. Making an accurate areal map has been a century-old objective in neuroscience. Using multi-modal magnetic resonance images from the Human Connectome Project (HCP) and an objective semi-automated neuroanatomical approach, scientists delineated 180 areas per hemisphere bounded by sharp changes in cortical architecture, function, connectivity, and/or topography in a precisely aligned group average of 210 healthy young adults. They characterized 97 new areas and 83 areas previously reported using post-mortem microscopy or other specialized study-specific approaches.

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Corina Marinescu

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