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What is brain mapping technology?

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According to The Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics, brain-mapping technology makes use of science, chemistry, engineering, neurophysiology, nanotechnology and various imaging techniques to study the brain and the spinal cord's function and anatomy. Commonly used imaging technologies include microscopic, endoscopic and intra-operative imaging.

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The complexity of the human brain and how cells interact and communicate with one another has been an ongoing puzzle to some of the greatest scientist in the world, notes CNN. Government funding and technology help neuroscientists explore brain pathways and connections in new and more detailed ways than ever before. Some of the projects resulting from the 2013 government brain map initiative, according to the MIT Technology Review, have the potential to help scientists and physicians gain a better understanding of brain activities. This deeper understanding could lead to better treatments, and possibly cures, for conditions such as schizophrenia and autism.

In 2014, Massachusetts General Hospital used technology to create a new generation of brain-mapping images that reveal the human brain's connections and pathways. These images are considered a major scientific breakthrough. The study was conducted at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General and involved long-term observations of water molecules. The molecules appeared on a screen as highly-rendered images of the communications systems of the brain. This technique is referred to as diffusion tractography, according to the hospital.

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