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Wiring the human brain

Alfred Anwander, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences

Credit: Alfred Awander. CC-BY.

Download this image from Wellcome Collection.

Pathways of nerve fibres in the brain of a young healthy adult (viewed from behind). Different parts of the brain communicate with each other through these nerve fibres, which are colour-coded here. Fibres connecting the left and right hemispheres are red, fibres travelling up and down connecting the brain and spinal cord are blue, and fibres running front to back are green.

The width of this brain is 16.5 cm.

Imaging technique: tractography

This image was created from virtual slices of the brain, from top to bottom, made using a type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) called diffusion imaging that tracks the direction and movement of water molecules. This information was then used to digitally reconstruct this network of connections.

Location where image was created

Leipzig, Germany

Why did the judges choose this image?

“We chose the brain tractography image because, alongside the excellent definition of its fine lines, it conveys a strong dynamism and sense of movement as it reveals pathways of nerve fibres in the brain. We felt that it captured the essence of the technique whilst giving a picture of the living brain.”

Catherine Draycott, Head of Wellcome Images

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