Rainbow Connections: Mapping Neural Pathways in the Brain

Zeynep Saygin
Kanwisher Laboratory
MIT Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences

The human brain is massively complex. Neuro-imaging techniques such as MRI provide a non-invasive tool for studying its inner workings.This image shows pathways of nerve fibers through the brain in three dimensions—up/down (blue), front/back (green), and left/right (red). By comparing these maps of connectivity with maps of neural function researchers can begin to predict how individual brains will respond to different stimuli. That will eventually help them understand healthy brain development, and enable earlier diagnosis and interventions for conditions such as autism and dyslexia.