Documenting the Coming Singularity

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Brain Unmasked - New imaging technologies reveal intricate architecture

Technology Review - Wednesday, August 06, 2008 by Emily Singer

The typical brain scan shows a muted gray rendering of the brain, easily distinguished by a series of convoluted folds. But according to Van Wedeen, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, that image is just a shadow of the real brain. The actual structure--a precisely organized tangle of nerve cells and the long projections that connect them--has remained hidden until relatively recently.

Traditional magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, can detect the major anatomical features of the brain and is often used to diagnose strokes and brain tumors. But advances in computing power and novel processing algorithms have allowed scientists to analyze the information captured during an MRI in completely new ways.

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