BBC Earth (Asia) - - Update -

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.”

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