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Human Brain Found to Have Fingerprint! Unique Neural Connections Proven

Nov 17, 2016 08:37 AM EST
Human Brain
We thought that only our fingers had the patterns unique to all individuals but recent findings show that we also 'think' differently with others. Brain Fingerprints have been a new craze to neuroscience, and exploring its boundaries are yet to unfold more mysteries of human nature's complexity.

(Photo : Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Everyone in this world has a unique fingerprint, and this serves as one of the main identifications of a person. But neurologists also believe that neural connections are different for every person, and they have proven it. Mapping the brain's connection, a group of experts was able to see how our brains have their own fingerprints too. 

A team of researchers led by Carnegie Mello University tried to map the connection of our brain. Through the use of diffusion MRI, the group was able to trace the structure of connections with very high accuracy. Unlike with the previous brain connection tests that only focused on single structural connection's integrity, the new approach was able to explore the smallest brain segment to understand its biological wires.

"The most exciting part is that we can apply this new method to existing data and reveal new information that is already sitting there unexplored. The higher specificity allows us to reliably study how genetic and environmental factors shape the human brain over time, thereby opening a gate to understand how the human brain functions or dysfunctions," Fang-Cheng Yeh explained in an article. Yeh is a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, teaching neurological surgery, and is the study's first author.

Using the local connectome of 699 brains, the study has reconstructed the connections, creating the brain 'fingerprint'. With their observations, the patterns produced with the team's samples shown that there's a unique connectivity for each of them, strengthening their claim that brain fingerprints can also be used for human identity marker.

"This confirms something that we've always assumed in neuroscience -- that connectivity patterns in your brain are unique to you," CMU Assistant Psychology Professor Timothy Verstynen mentioned. "This means that 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 medical biomarkers for certain health concerns," he added.

The research paper of the team was published in PLOS Computational Biology.

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