Science 22 Jul 2016 Mind over gray matte ...

Mind over gray matter: new map lays out brain's cerebral cortex

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Jul 22, 2016, 3:03 pm IST
Updated Jul 22, 2016, 3:03 pm IST
Neuroscientists have made a map out of cerebral cortex – the part of the brain essentially responsible for cognitive functions of the body.
The cerebral cortex is the part that is responsible for higher cognitive functions such as abstract through, language and memory.
 The cerebral cortex is the part that is responsible for higher cognitive functions such as abstract through, language and memory.

Human kind seems to be advancing at an increasingly fast pace. Making the most of what resources we have at hand is essential due to the scarcity of the same. Who was to know, we would actually be capable of using ourselves too, in order to devise helpful innovations.

Neuroscientists acting as cartographers of the human mind, have been able to create a comprehensive map made out of parts of brain known as cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex is the part that is responsible for higher cognitive functions such as abstract through, language and memory.

 

 ‘We consider this to be the most accurate and detailed map of human cerebral cortex published to date,’ Washington University neuroscientist David Van Essen said.

Details about the map:

The comprehensive map that the neurologists have been working on can essentially be used in the study of brain-related conditions such as autism, schizophrenia, dementia and epilepsy to name a few. It can also help understand the difference between the brains of people with conditions and healthy people.

Neuroscientist Matthew Glasser of Washington University in St. Louis said, ‘The cerebral cortex underlies most of human cognition, providing such functions as speech production and understanding, ability to use tools, ability to make decisions. Indeed, it is responsible for the stuff that makes us human, and the cortex has expanded dramatically in humans relative to our closest living relatives, the apes.’

 

They were able to point out 180 distinctive areas in the cerebral cortex that could come to use, through the use of MRI images from the brains of 210 people. These areas were present in both, the left as well as the right hemispheres of the cerebral cortex. The regions were essentially mapped based on features such as cortical thickness, amount of insulation and nerve-cell connections.

‘Think of this as version 1.0 of the brain map. It is very likely that better data or more eyes on the problem will identify improvements, perhaps for a version 2.0 in the future,’ he concluded.

 

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