Connectivity

  • Published10 Aug 2012
  • Reviewed10 Aug 2012
  • Author
  • Source BrainFacts/SfN
This brain shows lost and irregular connections.
Tyszka, et al. The Journal of Neuroscience 2011.

Researchers today can see 3D maps of people’s unique brain structures thanks to advanced imaging techniques. This inside view is necessary when they want to find out whether abnormal connections between brain regions translate to abnormal functional networks.

The brain above shows such irregular connections. For healthy brains, numerous fiber tracts join the two hemispheres. But here, most of the space between hemispheres is filled by only a void. This altered structure is typical of those with a birth defect called agenesis of the corpus callosum (AgCC).

The researchers who created this image found largely normal functional brain networks in people with AgCC, suggesting the brain may reorganize early in life and that these networks determine cognitive ability more than structural connections do.

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