A new 21st century map of the human brain contains 180 distinct areas in each hemisphere, including 97 previously undiscovered territories, research published Wednesday in the journal Nature revealed. It’s not quite Google Maps, but the new optic still provides the most detailed understanding of the cerebral cortex to date, based on the freshest data from the latest technologies.
The new map “is a major revision and updating” of previous maps,” said David Van Essen, senior author of the study. “Most of the new areas are in regions we associate with higher cognitive function,” he said.
This is version 1.0, and as new data comes in, there will be revisions, said Dr. Greg Farber, director of technology development at the National Institute of Mental Health, echoing the authors of the research.
“You know what maps of the world looked like in 1500 and you know what they look like in 1950? I think in terms of resolution and quality, we moved from 1500 to 1950,” said Farber. In time, he said, we’ll get better definition, but he would be “very surprised” to see major changes to this new “parcellation” as Van Essen refers to it.
“This is going to give us more insight into the brain,” said CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who is also a practicing neurosurgeon. He added the idea of a complete cortical map has been thought about “as far back as I can remember.”
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SOURCE: CNN, Susan Scutti