Animal Brains, More Beautiful Than You Could Ever Imagine
More than just eye candy, these images are teaching scientists new insights into how the brain is organized
- By Laura Helmuth
- Smithsonian magazine, July-August 2012,
(Martinos Center For Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital)
The technique Wedeen and colleagues use is called "diffusion spectrum MRI," a variation on an existing technique. By monitoring how water moves along axons and at what angle these brain fibers cross one another, the researchers found a surprisingly geometric pattern. The three-dimensional grid is visible in this detail from a rhesus monkey brain.