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April 27, 2016

Neuroimaging reveals detailed semantic maps across human cerebral cortex

Here in the functional MRI room at the University of California, Berkeley, it's story time. All in all, getting a brain scan for this project isn't a bad gig -- just kick back, listen to some stories and watch some videos. But, it's far from a midday break for the scientists conducting this research project. With support from NSF, neuroscientist Jack Gallant and his team are discovering how language-related information is represented and processed in the human brain. Using functional MRI, they measure changes in blood flow throughout the brain about once every second while people listen to natural narrative stories. The researchers then use Big Data methods to construct mathematical models of language processing and create detailed maps that show how different aspects of language are represented in different locations in the brain.

Credit: National Science Foundation

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