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C. Computer Technology's Contribution to Brain Research

Narrator: This is Science Today. For over a decade, UCLA's Laboratory of Neuro Imaging has been dedicated to improving the understanding of the human brain. It was about ten years ago that Dr. Arthur Toga, the laboratory's director, co-conceived the idea to set up a huge database that would serve as a brain atlas for researchers and physicians.

Toga: One of the great, lucky aspects of this project was the power of computers has made it possible. You know, fifteen years ago, it probably wouldn't have been possible, so the emergence of supercomputers, the ability to store all of this data, the ability to acquire data at sufficient resolution, the MRI scanners, all of these things emerged as the concept emerged.

Narrator: The result is a comprehensive, ever-evolving online atlas of the human brain.

Toga: We've already had many spin-off projects from this, doing population studies of schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, autism, brain development, normal brain aging - and these have utilized the concepts that have emerged from this brain atlas project.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.