NEW IMAGING TECHNIQUE PROVES WE ALL HAVE A UNIQUE ‘BRAINPRINT’
It seems our brains really are all wired up differently. The structural connections in our brains are so unique to each individual that they can be used to identify us like fingerprints, a team at Carnegie Mellon University has found.
The researchers scanned the brains of nearly 700 volunteers, using a new method of non-invasive MRI that enabled them to capture the brain’s ‘connectome’ – the point-bypoint connections that join together all of the white matter – in much more detail than ever before.
They discovered that even identical twins only share about 12 per cent of structural connectivity patterns, and that the brain’s unique local connectome is sculpted over time, changing at an average rate of 13 per cent every 100 days.
“This confirms something that we’ve always assumed in neuroscience: that connectivity patterns in your brain are unique to you,” said Timothy Verstynen, one of the research team involved. “This means many of your life experiences are somehow reflected in the connectivity of your brain.
Thus we can start to look at how shared experiences, for example poverty or people who have the same pathological disease, are reflected in your brain connections, opening the door for potential new biomarkers for certain health concerns.”