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Brain Is Not Like a Bowl of Spaghetti

A
couple of years ago, John Farrier told
us
about a project to map the brain’s neural connections (scientists
call this connectomes).
In this week’s issue of Science,
researchers published their findings that the brain actually has a simple,
grid-like structure:

It was previously thought the inside of the brain resembled the
assembly of a bowl of spaghetti noodles. Researchers and scientists,
funded by the National Science Foundation, have now discovered that
a more uniformed grid-like pattern makes up the connections of the brain.

Scientists [... used] magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology
to map the three-dimensional, scaffold fiber architecture of the brain.
This technology, used for the first time in this manner, determined
that the pathways of the brain pass through tissue that resembles a
grid-like structure.

"By looking at how the pathways fit in the brain, we anticipated
the connectivity to resemble that of a bowl of spaghetti, a very narrow
and discreet object," said Van J. Wedeen, associate professor of
Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and
Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging.

"We discovered that the pathways in the top of the brain are
all organized like woven sheets with the fibers running in two directions
in the sheets and in a third direction perpendicular to the sheets.
These sheets all stack together so that the entire connectivity of the
brain follows three precisely defined directions."

Link
| Van Wedeen explains in neat this
video clip

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Date
March 30th, 2012

Author
Stranger to the World

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