The world’s most detailed scan of the brain’s internal wiring has been produced by scientists at Cardiff University.
The MRI machine reveals the fibres which carry all the brain’s thought processes.
It’s been done in Cardiff, Nottingham, Cambridge and Stockport, as well as London England and London Ontario.
Doctors hope it will help increase understanding of a range of neurological disorders and could be used instead of invasive biopsies.
I volunteered for the project – not the first time my brain has been scanned.
In 2006, it was a particular honour to be scanned by the late Sir Peter Mansfield, who shared a Nobel prize for his work on developing Magnetic Resonance Imaging, one of the most important breakthroughs in medicine.
He scanned me using Nottingham University’s powerful new 7 Tesla scanner. When we looked at the crisp, high resolution images, he told me: “I’m a physicist, so don’t ask me to tell you to whether there’s anything amiss with your brain – you’d need a neurologist for that.”
I was the first UK Biobank volunteer to have their brain and other organs imaged as part of the world’s biggest scanning project.
More recently, I had my brain scanned while playing computer games, as part of research into the effects of sleep deprivation on cognition.
So my visit to the Cardiff University’s Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) held no particular concerns.