Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Scaling the Brain

Combining findings from brain analyses at micro and macro levels provide greater understanding of brain region connectivity

05 December 2022

Scaling the Brain

An overview city map gives an impression of the main areas, but as you zoom in you learn more and more about each individual neighbourhood and street. Researchers want to develop a similarly nuanced understanding of the brain, observing how different regions are linked but also the precise detail of how each cell behaves. No one technique can give all of that information at once, so a new study has combined findings from precision microscopy with information gained from whole-brain level analyses. The result maps how individual fibres connecting different structures spread across the human brain (pictured, part of the hippocampus region showing precise architecture of fibres. Colours represent 3D orientations). Their approach, 3D Polarised Light Imaging, bridges micro and macro techniques and aligns them with existing brain atlas data to consider the characteristics of healthy and diseased brain structures at every level, and in a whole new light.

Work part of the Human Brain Project

Written by Anthony Lewis

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