New ways of using MR imaging to map the basic wiring of the brain are being developed by teams of researchers at various institutions, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal.
Researchers at the Human Connectome Project, the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle and others hope that their new understanding of the brain can lead to better treatments for mental illnesses, multiple sclerosis and other disorders, according to the article.
Previous research has looked at the neural activity of the brain, but never before has the basic function of thought and cognition been analyzed in terms of brain activity. The new MR techniques scan the brain seven times faster and can analyze neural connections 50 times faster than a year ago.
Similar to the Human Genome Project, researchers plan to make the results from the mapping of the brain available for other studies.