Researchers from the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine in Jülich, Germany, and McGill University's Montreal Neurological Institute sliced a 65-year-old female brain into 7,404 pieces, analyzed each piece with modern brain imaging technologies and computationally reassembled the pieces to create the BigBrain. The model can be used to map brain activity and compare treatment effects, and potentially changes how large-scale clinical trial data will be handled, says Alan Evans, co-author of a paper on the BigBrain in the journal Science. The project is also a starting point for other brain mapping initiatives, including the European Human Brain Project, Evans says.

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