Scientists: Human Brain Resembles Manhattan

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The image shows the Manhattan-like grid structure of brain fibers using a powerful new scanner that is used to map the complex organ.
  • MGH-UCLA Human Connectome Project
  • A powerful new scanner shows that the layout of brain fibers more closely resembles a Manhattan-like street grid than a pile of spaghetti.

A new groundbreaking study indicates that the human brain is laid out in a complex series of grids, rather than the commonly held belief that brain fibers are tangled like a pile of spaghetti.

The new report from Massachusetts General Hospital used a newly developed scanner to map the brain's fibers.

"Basically, the overall structure of the brain ends up resembling Manhattan," physicist Van Wedeen told the Boston Globe. "[It's as if] you have a two-dimension plan of streets and a third axis, an elevator going in the third dimension."

Wedeen and his team at MGH scanned living human subjects and animals, using the new scanner that reportedly can achieve 10 times the resolution of conventional MRI machines.

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