The study of the brain is one area of medical science that can be said to be reaping the rewards of modern technology.
Dramatic advances across a range of fields - from genetics and chemistry to computing and brain imaging - are raising the prospect of genuine breakthroughs in neurological disorders like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
In the first of three special reports on this golden age of brain research, the Today programme's science correspondent Tom Feilden looks at some of the hardware that's allowing us to peek inside the black box of the mind.
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