An international team of researchers has created the first complete high-resolution map of how millions of neural fibres in the human cerebral cortex — the outer layer of the brain responsible for higher level thinking — connect and communicate. Their groundbreaking work identified a single network core, or hub, that may be key to the workings of both hemispheres of the brain.
The work by the researchers from Indiana University, University of Lausanne, Switzerland, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, and Harvard Medical School marks a major step in understanding the most complicated and mysterious organ in the human body.
It not only provides a comprehensive map of brain connections (the brain “connectome”), but also describes a novel application of a non-invasive technique that can be used by other scientists to continue mapping the trillions of neural connections in the brain at even greater resolution, which is becoming a new field of science termed “connectomics.”
“This is one of the first steps necessary for building large-scale computational models of the human brain to help us understand processes that are difficult to observe, such as disease states and recovery processes to injuries,” said Olaf Sporns, co-author of the study and neuroscientist at Indiana University.
Now that’s what I’m talking about.
This is one of the first articles for what will become an avalanche of articles and findings on how the brain works; culminating somewhere around 2019 with the equivalent of a DNA map for the brain giving us a complete picture of how the brain functions and opening the door for some impressive work on brain functions.
Incidentally around the same time we have finished mapping the brain, computer processing power should have progressed enough to mimic the brain.
Put these two incredible milestones together and the future has just begun.