Known regions of human cortex increase with Human Connectome Project
Thanks to the new technology, scientists know that there are 180 specific regions within each hemisphere of the brain. The software is able to locate the “fingerprint” of the regions within the brain, using data from non-invasive brain imaging measures to guarantee that the identified regions are correct.
“These new insights and tools should help to explain how our cortex evolved and the roles of its specialized areas in health and disease, and could eventually hold promise for unprecedented precision in brain surgery and clinical work-ups,” Dr. Bruce Cuthbert, acting director of NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), which co-funded the research as part of the HCP, said.
Previous cortex studies demonstrated a single measure, like postmortem tissue through a microscope. This new tool could improve how researchers are able to evaluate various neural illnesses and injuries.
“The situation is analogous to astronomy, where ground-based telescopes produced relatively blurry images of the sky before the advent of adaptive optics and space telescopes,” Dr. Matthew Glasser, lead author of the study from Washington University in St. Louis, said.