First 3D Map of the Brain’s Connections

We knew anatomy could be gorgeous, but this is beyond anything else we’ve ever seen, and it’s guaranteed to be something you haven’t seen, being the first 3D image of a brain’s connections.

Van Wedeen, a Harvard radiology professor, is awestruck: “We’ve never really seen the brain – it’s been hiding in plain sight.” Conventional scanning has offered us a crude glimpse, but scientists such as Wedeen aim to produce the first ever three-dimensional map of all its neurons. They call this circuit diagram the “connectome”, and it could help us better understand everything from imagination and language to the miswirings that cause mental illness. But with 100 billion neurons hooked together by more connections than there are stars in the MilkyWay, the brain is a challenge that represents petabyte-level data.

Photographed above is the 3D image of an owl-monkey’s brain.

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  1. Firsties!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. omfg….. and to dashhawn… you freaking wasted the first post…(ballsmash) on another note… damn.. that is bloody cool 🙂

  3. …but you didn’t call shotgun.

    and awesome pic and up-coming in the history of science

  4. There are so many connections in the human brain. Wow. Phenomenal.

  5. If the brain is that complicated why do ppl still drive for miles with their turn signals on?

  6. Because its that complicated.

    Just because people have the potential doesn’t mean they have any idea how to use it.
    But that just about sums up most of humanity o_o;

  7. Brains are like money………..There are/is a lot around, shame it doesn’t come with directions.

  8. The human brain is an approximately 3 lbs +/- wonder. PET scans have shown big differences between human male and female brains. In males one side of the brain is larger than the other side. In females both sides are equal in size. And what does all this mean??? Males are one-sided whereas females must multitask!!!

  9. haha people driving with their turnsignals on for miles XD. But yeah this aint a human brain, word for the guy who thought so. But its a monkey brain i think. Im guessing a human brain would have just been a big mess of wires. And i didnt know that a males brain in larger on one side then the other. It could be that the brains that they used had entirely different lives. Like a female is less likly to perfect their motor skills unlike a male who is more physical in their daily life. And females have more of a nitch for verbal skills. But hey what do i know… Ill post later when i become a neuroologist…

  10. @Nancy No, just like a large something else, its EXTRA brain power that females lack. Thats why they are so CRAZY all the time.

  11. This is so cool! Im excited to see the other animals they start creating 3-D models of and eventually humans!

  12. Wow this is truly a huge step forward for man kind, whether its a human brain or a monkey brain doesn’t quite matter, we have made a 3D model of the most complicated and wonderful thing that we know of, the brain.

  13. this model looks 2D to me

  14. It looks as though i opened my girlfriends sewing drawer. Just like her its a very organized mess. Now get in there and knit me a sweater!

  15. number 16 !!! braaains

  16. Wow! Isnt’ this amazing – so intricate, so delicate and such a powerful design. How amazingly beautiful, complex and yet niftily organised…What an amazing creation by a skilled Creator. Spectacular!
    Thanks to the folks who are doing the research and hard work to enable us to learn more about this marvel.

  17. This is an image of an owl-monkey’s brain? I would love to see a picture of the owl-monkey. It’s like the Wizard of Oz but deadlier and more 3D! Oh, and the 3D image is awesome too.

  18. that is such a unique and amazing prospect, i’m blown away

  19. link is broken you fucks.

  20. Just consider how fast it also processes data, so many connection in a network will mean a great delay but the brain still manages to beat the fastest supercomputer in that sense. if we can understand the algorithms of that we will have a better f..king connection than the ones we have 🙂

  21. The brain looks very complicated. So this is why we need to protect our head, one bump and a whole fraction of the brain could go dead, leaving most of it useless.

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