Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston are experimenting with a new technique called diffusion spectrum imaging that could help us map the network of axons in the human brain. The basic concept is that MRI is very sensitive to water molecules, and as water molecules are diffusing through the axons, their signals may be picked up using this method.
Scientists can use these diffusion measurements to map the wires, creating a detailed blueprint of the brain’s connectivity.
This could help us make risky surgical operations safer, and it could probably help us better understand how the brain works so that diseases such as schizophrenia and autism may be treated some day. Its worth keeping track of these folks’ work!