BBC Science correspondent Pallab Ghosh has his own brain scanned to see how it’s wired. He reports that the, “Project could help shed light on why some people are naturally scientific, musical or artistic.”
Scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital are pushing brain imaging to its limit using a purpose built scanner. It is one of the most powerful scanners in the world.
The scanner’s magnets need 22MW of electricity – enough to power a nuclear submarine.
The researchers invited me to have my brain scanned. I was asked if I wanted “the 10-minute job or the 45-minute ‘full monty'” which would give one of the most detailed scans of the brain ever carried out. Only 50 such scans have ever been done.
I went for the full monty.
It was a pleasant experience enclosed in the scanner’s vast twin magnets. Powerful and rapidly changing magnetic fields were looking to see tiny particles of water travelling along the larger nerve fibres.
By following the droplets, the scientists in the adjoining cubicle are able to trace the major connections within my brain.
This brain mapping study is part of the U.S. based Human Connectome Project. Click here for the link.