Gorman, James. "The Brain, in Exquisite Detail." The New York Times. The New York Times, 6 Jan. 2014. Web. 11 Jan. 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/07/science/the-brain-in-exquisite-detail.html?rref=science&module=Ribbon&version=origin®ion=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Science&pgtype=article>.
Deanna Barch is a researcher at Washington University and she is trying to create a detailed, and interactive model of the human brain. She and a number of other scientists are performing MRI brain scans and many other assessments through cognitive, physical, psychological and a number of other tests on the 1,200 volunteers. The tests are designed to try to activate every part of the brain, and also to check for physical fitness and emotional states. On a database called Workbench over the data of over 238 subjects has been released. They call it the Human Connectome Project. The brains are put in these databases for neurosurgeons and doctors to use as a reference. They will be able to see extremely detailed pictures (detail to one and a half cubic millimeters) of all different types of brains. This project is one of many new attempts at studying and trying to understand the mysteries of the brain. Recently there has been a major push on neuroscience due to a large amount of government funding. This has caused amazing advances in the technology used to understand the brain, and what we know about the brain.
This experiment is going to be very beneficial to the world of neuroscience and will be able to help doctors cure many people. There are many diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease that cause many serious problems and usually end up causing death. Hopefully this database can be used to help find out why and where that happens, and what we can do to stop it. This has already helped many psychiatrists because some of the tests were able to lead to discoveries about depression and what is happening in the brain to cause that feeling. This database is a way for scientists to truly see the human brain but not just one, over a thousand different, healthy brains.
I thought that this article was very well written, and thorough in describing the entire experiment. It was very helpful to have multiple specific examples of how this research has and will help the world. One thing that I particularly liked was the background of Dr. Barch and her commentary on everything. It made it that much more credible and interesting. There was a more personal connection. One thing that I feel would have made this article better was if they removed some of the unnecessary information about funding and who or where it was from. It just separated the interesting sections about the experiment and made the article more drawn out.