What Does Human Brain Mapping Actually Tell Us? McGill University Study

Published: Jun 24, 2013

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Google “brain” right now and you’ll find a mountain of news stories on a development known as the BigBrain project, which came out just yesterday: Researchers in Europe and Canada have just mapped the human brain with a precision that’s so strikingly detailed, that it’s unprecedented in humans – and it’s in 3D. The team has devised a way to cut the brain into 20 micrometer-thick sections – far slimmer than the chunky 1 mm sections that have been available with magnetic resonance – dye them, scan them, and reconstruct the slices into a 3D “atlas” of the human brain. But while the research is impressive by any count, and it will certainly gives us some clues into brain cell function and anatomy, there’s a limit to what it can tell us.

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