Digitally created image showing difference between left and right side of the brain

Brain structure and function


The brain is a secretive organ. It hides deep within the bony plates of the skull and is so intrinsically bound up with the person to whom it belongs that study of the organ itself can be problematic.

Non-invasive imaging technology, such as our new 3 Tesla MRI scanner, has made it possible for us to study the brain in situ. We can see live changes in brain activity and blood flow, determine brain chemistry and structure – all while our subject is lying down.

Brain researchers, no less than geographers, need maps and coordinate systems to navigate the brain and communicate their observations to each other. On a map of the brain we can superimpose types of neurons, neurotransmitters, enzymes, and connectivity and functional data. We are continuing to develop and refine brain atlases of humans and experimental animals which are used internationally as the standard guides for scientific work and are also used by neurosurgeons to target small deep lying structures in the brain.