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How our brains are wired: Scanner reveals inner workings in stunning new detail

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At www.nature.com

The nerves in a human brain form a three-dimensional grid of criss-crossing fibres, say researchers who have mapped them. The regular pattern creates a scaffold to guide brain development and support more complex and variable brain structures, says Van Wedeen, a neuroscientist at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. 'The grid structure, by dint of its simplicity and symmetry under deformation, allows for continuous re-wiring,' he says. The grid is part of the brain's white matter: bundles of nerve fibres, or axons, that allow different brain regions to communicate and coordinate with one another. It was a surprise to find that these bundles form a regular network, rather than a jumbled mass, says Wedeen.

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At www.nature.com


 

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