Research from the Neuro

BigBrain - A 3D brain atlas with unprecedented cellular resolutionThe age at which children learn a second language can significantly affect the structure of their adult brain, according to a study completed by Denise Kein. The study showed that the later a child acquires a second the language, the greater the neural growth to their inferior frontal cortex.

Alan Evans co-created a 3D brain atlas with unprecedented cellular resolution. With zoom possibilities based on a data set 125,000 (50 x 50 x 50) times bigger than a typical MRI, the BigBrain atlas allows users to access new levels of information that  promise to revolutionize neurosurgical procedures, clinical research and computational modelling of the brain. BigBrain is free to use for researchers worldwide.

Abnormal communication between the brain's frontal cortexes may contribute to substance addiction, Alain Dagher and colleagues at RIKEN (the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, Wako, Japan) have found. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), the team discovered that dysfunction of the frontal lobes – which can be caused by psychological stress – might impair self-control over cravings for cigarettes, drugs and other stimulants.