Warren G. Phillips Brain-based teaching strategies
What’s new in brain research? Scientists are working on a map of human thoughts! A new technology is allowing neuroscientists to map the brain’s connections in ever-greater detail. The DTI scans (Diffusion Tension Imaging) uses water movement within neurons to map major brain pathways and compare essential circuits. The scan zooms into a region to explore the cells that comprise it, and the functions that depend on it. Understanding the human brain is one of the great scientific challenges of the 21st century. The Human Connectome Project is a five-year project, begun in 2009, and scheduled to be completed in 2015.
The Human Connectome Project aims to map human’s 100 billion neurons, and all of the connections between them. It will allow never-before realized conclusions about the living human brain.
Through this comprehensive brain mapping project, scientists will provide the neuroscience research community with a great resource for connectomics that will have a significant impact for understanding how the brain’s wiring makes us who we are. This may lead to an understanding of our unique differences such as autism, schizophrenia, seizures, and many other brain conditions.
Successful charting of the human connectome in normal adults will be enormously informative. Even more importantly, it will pave the way for studies that reveal how brain circuitry changes during development and aging. It will also show how brain pathways differ in numerous neurological and psychiatric disorders. In short, it will transform our understanding of the human brain in health and disease.