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First Micro-Structure Atlas of the Human Brain Completed

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Brain connectivity atlas

Credit: University College London

European researchers working on the CONNECT project recently created the first atlas of white-matter microstructures in the human brain.

The work relies on magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI) technology, which combines three-dimensional images from the MRI scans of brains of 100 volunteers. The researchers say CONNECT's advanced MRI methods provide unprecedented detail and accuracy. "The imaging techniques reveal new information about brain structure that help us understand how low-level cellular architecture relate to high-level thought processes," says University College London professor Daniel Alexander.

The atlas simulates the process of examining every mm2 of brain tissue with a microscope, while leaving the brain intact. The researchers say the project provides new depth and accuracy in the understanding of the human brain in health and disease. The atlas also describes the brain's microstructure in standardized space, which enables non-expert users to analyze the information. The researchers note the project will facilitate and promote future research into white matter structure and function.

From UCL News
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