Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Neural Chit-chat
18 October 2015

Neural Chit-chat

Our brain is a hub of activity, with millions of cells communicating via networks of fibres. And this neural chit-chat ultimately dictates how we live our lives. A recent study looked to understand this relationship between brain connectivity and behaviour by comparing a map of how brain regions are inter-connected (using functional magnetic resonance imaging) to behavioural and lifestyle traits from 461 people. The study showed that communication between a particular set of brain regions is different in people who have many ‘positive’ traits (good vocabulary, memory, life satisfaction) compared to others with many ‘negative’ traits (aggression, poor sleep, alcohol and drug use). This brain network is shown here, with coloured lines illustrating where communication between brain regions is strongest in people with positive (red) or negative (blue) traits. These findings bring us one step closer to understanding how brain activity may be driving our unique personal traits.

Written by Gaëlle Coullon

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