Human brain mapped in unprecedented detail

Matthew F. Glasser, David C. Van Essen Researchers have divided the brain into discrete areas based on structure and function. Think of a spinning globe and the patchwork of countries it depicts: such maps help us to understand where we are, and that nations differ from one another. Now, neuroscientists have charted an equivalent map of the brain’s outermost layer — the cerebral cortex — subdividing each hemisphere’s mountain- and valley-like folds into 180 separate parcels. Ninety-seven of these areas have never previously been described, despite showing clear differences in structure, function and connectivity from their neighbours. The new brain map is published today in Nature1. Each discrete area on the map contains cells with similar structure, function and connectivity. But these areas differ from each other, just as different…


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