The new map of reveals almost 100 previously undiscovered regions of the human brain
A group of researchers have developed a new map of the cerebral cortex of the human brain, revealing 100 new distinct regions in each hemisphere.
The study is possibly the most detailed map of the brain yet. Researchers say it will provide a crucial tool to understand how differences in even extremely small brain regions relate to behavior and disease.
Neuroscientists have long sought to divide the brain into smaller pieces to better appreciate how it works as a whole. In 1909 German Neurologist, Korbinian Brodmann, published perhaps the best known brain map, based on the discovery that different regions were made up of different cell types. His map divided the cerebral cortex into 52 areas based on the arrangement of cells in the tissue.
However, this new study divides each hemisphere of the brain into 180 specific cortical areas, 97 of which were previously undiscovered. The team were also able to confirmed the existence of 83 previously reported brain areas.
A team led by neuroscientist, Matthew Glasser, at Washington University Medical School studied 210 healthy adults brains and used imaging data collected from the participants.
The data included measurements of cortical thickness, brain function, connectivity between regions, organization of cells in brain tissue; and levels of myelin - a fatty substance that speeds up nerve signals.
Dr Glasser said the new map will help researchers discover more about how the brain works.
“The ability to discriminate individual differences in the location, size, and topology of cortical areas from differences in their activity or connectivity should facilitate understanding of how each property is related to behavior and genetic underpinnings."
The Nature journal created a video to display some images of the the new map and explain what some of the newly discovered regions of the brain are believed to be linked to.