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Press Release 12-062

This Is Your Brain--It's Organized Like a Woven Cloth and Not So Tangled As Once Thought

Scientists: The connectivity of the brain exhibits a more grid-like structure

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Van Wedeen and team discovered that the pathways in the top of the brain are all organized like woven sheets with the fibers running in two directions in the sheets and in a third direction perpendicular to the sheets. These sheets all stack together so that the entire connectivity of the brain follows three precisely defined directions.

The directions of the pathways of the brain were previously difficult to determine because in embryological life the pathways run in simple directions but become very bent and folded as the brain matures into an adult and more information and skills are learned. The surface of the adult brain appears more folded and the three directions become increasingly curved and thus difficult to view definitively.

Credit: NSF and Harvard University

 

Cover of the March 30, 2012 issue of the journal Science.

The researchers' work is described in the March 30, 2012 issue of the journal Science.

Credit: Copyright AAAS 2012


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