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More detailed mapping of the brain to guide neurosurgeons

 

Narrator:         This is Science Today. Neuroscientists have gained new insight into how our brain's auditory cortex is wired, which could lead to a more detailed mapping of the brain to guide neurosurgeons. Study leader Adeen Flinker, a doctoral student in neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley, explains when patients undergo brain surgery, surgeons have to map out where the language centers are to avoid removing or damaging those areas.

Flinker:            Because if they do, the person could wake up with what's called an aphasia when certain areas are damaged. So, this is really critical for mapping out brain function both for neurosurgery and also our understanding of how basic language works in our brain.

Narrator:         Flinker and his colleagues were able to track the brain activity in patients who were already wearing electrodes while undergoing treatment for seizures.

Flinker:           They're just waiting for a seizure. During this time they can either be bored and watch TV or we come in and ask them, "Do you mind giving some of your time for science?" Most of them are actually very willing and are happy to spend their time doing something more productive.

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