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Page last updated at 10:32 GMT, Saturday, 8 September 2012 11:32 UK

Connectome map 'to reveal brain defects'

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The connectome is the network of pathways linking all the neurones in your brain. Using new research scientists hope to gain a much more fundamental understanding of how the brain processes and stores information; in essence, what memories are made of.

"Ultimately, we're trying to get at the neural code," Professor Michael Hauser told the Today programme, who is studying brain activity in mice to try and explain why we behave the way they do.

But a complete map of the human connectome is some way off. MIT's Sebastian Seung indicated that to map just one cubic millimetre of brain tissue "would take 100,000 person years".

In future he hopes new research will allow the medical community to see physical anomalies in the brains of people with conditions including schizophrenia and autism.

A special report from the BBC's Tom Feilden.


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