The Developing Human Connectome Project

New images could show us how babies’ brains grow

Scientists are finally starting to catch a glimpse of how brain wiring forms in newborn human babies. Thousands of complex brain images from 40 sleeping infants are part of the debut data set from the Developing Human Connectome Project, The Guardian reports.  Over the next 3 years, researchers plan to scan 1000 sleeping babies—plus 500 more in the womb—with extra-quiet MRI machines and software that corrects for the subtle (and not-so-subtle) movements of squirmy babies. Scientists hope the hundreds of thousands of images they produce will help them zero in on brain wiring and anatomical differences in children that develop disorders such as autism.

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