Mental maturity scan tracks brain development

Kurzweil AI, Sept 11, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I think analyzing brain function by blood flows is like analyzing computer function by electricity flows. Yes, there is some useful information there, but you're a long way from understanding the software. That said, what attracts me to this report is the novel diagram of brain function produced by these five-minute MRI scans showing linkages between different areas of the brain. Instead of depicting it as a set of disassociated areas, the diagram quite clearly displays the connectivity, and represents improvements in connectivity as improvements in brain function.

We're still nowhere near understanding what functioning is actually taking place with these diagrams. But it does allow researchers to track growth and development. "As the brain matures, these brain networks change. The overall organization switches from networks involving regions physically close to each other, which is the dominant motif in a child's brain, to networks that connect distant regions, the primary organizational principal in adult brains."
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