Connectomics Reveals Brain Networking Core

Posted 7 Jul 2008 at 22:30 UTC by steve Share This

The relatively young field of science known as connectomics, which we first reported on earlier this year, has already produced some intriguing new results about the human brain. The idea is to build a "connectome" or neural connection map of the entire brain. Like the human genome project this was initially met with skepticism as a seemingly impossible task. Early projects involved removing the brain, slicing it, and scanning the slices. The Brain Mysteries blog reports on a new method based on diffusion MRI scans of living human brains. The result is the first high resolution map of millions of neural pathways in the brain. The map showed something unexpected, a single network hub "that may be key to the workings of both hemispheres of the brain". Even more interesting is the researcher's conclusion about the relationship between neural connections and dynamic activity: "we can measure a significant correlation between brain anatomy and brain dynamics. This means that if we know how the brain is connected we can predict what the brain will do". For more on this interesting new discovery, see the researcher's paper, Mapping the Structural Core of Human Cerebral Cortex.

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