Ready to look at your brain’s wiring?

Scientists at Cardiff University share the most detailed scan of a human brain. This may open the way to new medical therapies


BBC correspondent Fergus Walsh entering CUBRIC-Scanner (source: Cardiff University)

Yes, it probably is. The human brain is possibly the most complex object in the whole Universe. A coffer full of mysteries that keeps fascinating and challenging scientists, who are trying hard to open it to unveil the ultimate secrets of our own existence. And researchers now have a new tool to get a bit closer to their goal. In fact, a team working at Cardiff University in the UK and in partnership with engineers from Siemens have recently developed the most detailed brain scanning procedure ever.


The scanner is based on the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technique, which is widely used in medicine to take pictures of the body’s anatomy and internal processes. It makes use of varying magnetic fields and radio waves, allowing doctors to monitor the health state of internal tissues.


Scientists have developed new MRI equipment to scan the human brain. The result? Stunningly beautiful images at a level of detail never reached before

The researchers at the Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) used their Magnetom Skyra Connectom 3T, the most powerful MRI scanner in Europe, to scan the brain of volunteers, such as that of the BBC Medical Correspondent Fergus Walsh. And the results were worth the effort.


The images show the stunning structures of the human brain, revealing the connections between the different regions at an unprecedented level of detail. This is a very important result, as the deeper monitoring of the brain’s internal parts enabled by the new MRI equipment can pave the way to innovative therapies against diseases such as dementia and schizophrenia.


And teach us a bit more about how to reveal the secrets of the brain.