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.
J. Michael Tyszka, Daniel P. Kennedy, Ralph Adolphs, and Lynn K. Paul. Intact Bilateral Resting-State Networks in the Absence of the Corpus Callosum. The Journal of Neuroscience, 19 October 2011, 31(42):15154-15162.
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