Tuesday, July 1, 2008

More from Lausanne: Mapping the Structural Core of Human Cerebral Cortex

ResearchBlogging.orgThis paper (open access) has just been published online: Mapping the Structural Core of Human Cerebral Cortex. Researchers in Switzerland are finding ways to combine imaging techniques to deepen understanding of how the brain functions at rest and at work.

"In the human brain, neural activation patterns are shaped by the underlying structural connections that form a dense network of fiber pathways linking all regions of the cerebral cortex. Using diffusion imaging techniques, which allow the noninvasive mapping of fiber pathways, we constructed connection maps covering the entire cortical surface. Computational analyses of the resulting complex brain network reveal regions of cortex that are highly connected and highly central, forming a structural core of the human brain. Key components of the core are portions of posterior medial cortex that are known to be highly activated at rest, when the brain is not engaged in a cognitively demanding task. Because we were interested in how brain structure relates to brain function, we also recorded brain activation patterns from the same participant group. We found that structural connection patterns and functional interactions between regions of cortex were significantly correlated. Based on our findings, we suggest that the structural core of the brain may have a central role in integrating information across functionally segregated brain regions."

The various images represent information gained from various kinds of investigative technique produces - this image (from the paper) is a computer integration/ combination..

July2: Back inside this post for a moment to drop a link from Mo's post at Neurophilosopy about this topic. Please go and read it - it contains much more analysis on the paper and the implications of the research, and links to this amazing picture of white matter tracts in the brain. The three main classifications of white fibers (association, commissural and projection) are clearly visualized:

No comments: