Thereâ€™s a new wrinkle in the study of brain anatomy. It turns out that the three-dimensional shape of the cerebral cortex â€“ the wrinkled outer layer of the brain that controls many functions of thinking and sensation â€“ strongly correlates with oneâ€™s ancestral background. Study author Chun Chieh Fan of the University of California, San Diego, says theyâ€™d noticed that different populations had very different brain shapes. So they paired a sophisticated algorithm tool with neuroimaging data.
"When you do this, we realize even though the shape is very different across the ancestral lineage, we cannot find evidence to suggest there is a functional difference based on those brain shapes."
Fan explains that oneâ€™s brain anatomy could eventually lead to more personalized medicine approaches for diagnosing and treating brain diseases.
"We can actually predict, what is a normal trajectory, given your genetic background. Anything deviate away from your normal trajectory, there might be a hint suggesting thereâ€™s a problem."
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