Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sharper view into brain: Exact border between two important brain regions detected

Date:
March 18, 2014
Source:
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Summary:
Deep in the human brain, two small but very important regions lie close together: the amygdala, which plays an important role in the generation and perception of emotions, and the hippocampus, which is a central switchboard for memories. These two small neighboring regions have until now been hard to tell apart in neuroimaging investigations of the living human because of their small dimensions, the amygdala being only the size of an almond. Ultra-high-field magnetic resonance imaging is now offering unprecedented clarity.

The border between the important brain regions hippocampus and amygdala is visible in high-resolution magnetic resonance images as a fine, light strip (“amygdala-hippocampal border," AHB).
Credit: AG Ball, Universität Freiburg

Deep in the human brain, two small but very important regions lie close together: the amygdala, which plays an important role in the generation and perception of emotions, and the hippocampus, which is a central switchboard for memories. These two small neighboring regions have until now been hard to tell apart in neuroimaging investigations of the living human because of their small dimensions, the amygdala being only the size of an almond.

This difficulty is due to the insufficient spatial resolution of the common imaging methods for detecting the exact course of the fine border between the amygdala and the hippocampus. Owing to the innovative use of ultra-high-field magnetic resonance imaging to approach this problem, scientists from Freiburg and Magdeburg succeeded in a joint attempt in revealing the border between these brain regions with unprecedented clarity. The team of Dr. Tonio Ball at the Bernstein Center Freiburg and the Cluster of Excellence BrainLinks-BrainTools at the University of Freiburg report on these findings in the current issue of the journal Human Brain Mapping.

The team examined six healthy subjects in a 7-Tesla magnetic resonance scanner at the University of Magdeburg. These machines produce a magnetic field several times stronger than that of scanners usually employed in medical use. The stronger field produces a much more detailed image of structures in the human body. Only a few of these devices are available in Germany.

When examining their subjects in the scanner, the scientists made a surprising discovery: The border between the amygdala and the hippocampus was different from person to person, and there were even differences between hemispheres of the same brain. As this border is the place where the two regions exchange information with each other, these variations might also be responsible for differences in personality, the scientists write. In the future, these brain regions should be measured in detail when patients are examined for psychiatric conditions such as anxiety disorders. Furthermore, the study showed that standardized maps of the brain do not make much sense in the case of the amygdala and the hippocampus. These regions must be measured individually in each patient, the scientists state, in order to prevent attributing a piece of brain to the wrong region, which may lead to a false diagnosis.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Johanna Derix, Shan Yang, Falk Lüsebrink, Lukas Dominique Josef Fiederer, Andreas Schulze-Bonhage, Ad Aertsen, Oliver Speck, Tonio Ball. Visualization of the amygdalo-hippocampal border and its structural variability by 7T and 3T magnetic resonance imaging. Human Brain Mapping, 2014; DOI: 10.1002/hbm.22477

Cite This Page:

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. "Sharper view into brain: Exact border between two important brain regions detected." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318113653.htm>.
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. (2014, March 18). Sharper view into brain: Exact border between two important brain regions detected. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318113653.htm
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. "Sharper view into brain: Exact border between two important brain regions detected." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318113653.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) — A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) — Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — A study suggests that parents become desensitized to violent movies as well as children, which leads them to allow their kids to view violent films. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins