MrSeb writes: "In an astonishing new study, scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have imaged human and monkey brains and found... well, the brain is basically just a huge collection of computer ribbons, traveling parallel or perpendicular or transverse to each other in a huge 3D grid. There are almost zero diagonals, nor single neurons that stray from the neuronal highways. The human brain is just one big grid of neurons — a lot like the streets of Manhattan, minus Broadway, and then projected into three dimensions. This new imagery comes from an MRI scanner, souped up by the Human Connectome Project, that uses diffusion spectrum imaging to detect the movement of water molecules within axons (the long connections made by neurons). The brain has always been very difficult to image because of the wrinkly nature of the cerebral cortex that surrounds the brain — but this new MRI scanner finally has the ability to peer through the folds."
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