Did you know that your brain allots different regions of itself for the various actions and reactions in your body? Currently, there are about 83 existent regions for the different bodily functions. However, in a recent turn of events, researchers at the Washington University in collaboration with the Human Connectome Project have discovered a total of 97 new areas in the cerebral cortex. The discovery has been labelled as ‘the most detailed brain mapping till date.’
Studies around the brain have been carried out since decades now (close to 150 years), but this recent discovery will enable scientists to understand the way we think, talk and feel emotions, as well as shed some light into the occurrence and development of disorders such as schizophrenia, dementia, Parkinson’s and autism.
Talking about the discovery, neuroscientist David Van Essen from the Washington University School of Medicine at St. Louis, who led an international team of researchers for the study said, “The brain is not like a computer that can support any operating system and run any software. Instead, the software – how the brain works – is intimately correlated with the brain’s structure – it’s hardware, so to speak. If you want to find out what the brain can do, you have to understand how it is organised and wired.”
The data for the research was drawn from the brain scans of up to 1,200 young adults with a custom-made MRI machine. The volunteers had their brains scanned while doing simple tasks and while at rest. This was to measure brain activity and see how different regions in the brain responded to different actions.
97 isn’t really a small number, especially when it comes to the human brain. However, it will be interesting to see how researchers manage to connect the dots between this discovery and the various aspects and phenomenon of the human brain.