With this brain atlas, serious diseases can be better researchedThe human brain is a complicated matter. Which area controls what? Where do the boundaries lie?? Now, U.S. scientists have created the most detailed atlas of the human cerebral cortex to date. Why? So that physicians can better research autism, schizophrenia, dementia and epilepsy.
Hinged model of a "walk-in brain": The Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt am Main plans to present the brain in the future (Sneckenberg 2020 concept) as a huge, room-sized installation. The new brain atlas is already ready.
Everyone is familiar with the sausage-like images of the cerebral cortex: it covers almost the entire brain visible from the outside, is heavily folded and crisscrossed by numerous furrows. In each of 180 plots, an international team led by brain researchers Matthew Glasser. David Van Essen of Washington University in St. Louis divides the two cerebral hemispheres into two parts. They have thus identified twice as many different areas as previously amed. Scientists have identified 97 new areas – and confirmed 83 that had previously been identified through studies of dead brain tie.
Cortex divided into 360 parcels
The new atlas is based on studies of young, healthy brains. The detailed map can be used as basic material by other scientists. It should help with research into autism, schizophrenia, dementia and epilepsy.
The two halves of the cerebral cortex have now been divided into 180 different areas each.
Source: Matthew F. Glasser/David C. Van Essen
Malfunctions in the brain can now be better assigned to an area of the brain when comparing with the small-step division. It is possible to search more closely for individual deviations from the norm.
Human Connectome Project provides basic data
The cortex is responsible for many functions such as sensory perception, attention, language or abstract thinking. The different regions sometimes perform the tasks alone, sometimes together. Previous representations of the cerebral cortex have usually used only one criterion to classify them. However, an overarching map that combines function, anatomy, cell architecture and connections was missing.
To create such an atlas, Glasser and his colleagues first accessed existing anatomical data from 1,200 brains that had been analyzed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as part of the ambitious Human Connectome Project launched six years ago. Then, for the new map of an additional 210 men's. Women's functional MRI brain scans created. They show the activity of different areas of the cerebral cortex at rest. During seven different activities. With the help of an adaptive algorithm, all the data could then be evaluated comparatively. The results show how the cerebral cortex is divided both anatomically and functionally.
Job search for engineers
"We ended up with 180 areas for each brain hemisphere, but we don't ame that's the final number," Glasser said. Using current methods, clear boundaries could not have been drawn everywhere. Only the unique boundaries were included in the atlas.
An international team of researchers led by Dr. Matthew Glasser (pictured) has created the most detailed atlas yet for the human cerebral cortex. The map should help in research into autism, schizophrenia, dementia and epilepsy.
Source: Robert Boston/Washington University School of Medicine in St. A control examination was added beforehand: The areas found were identified on the basis of a coordinate system. Transferred to another 210 people with the help of algorithms. The agreement was around 97 percent. This can probably be understood as unambiguous.
Meanwhile, at Forschungszentrum Julich, a supercomputer is being developed that simulates the human brain. Scientists also want to use the virtual brain to advance brain research.