The Basics of Human Brain Mapping Techniques !
Human Brain Mapping is very easily understandable technique even if you have a basic idea about human brain and a familiarization with the term ‘Map’. Before you start understanding Human brain mapping test and techniques, you must know something about the most amazing human brain.
The human brain is a challenging object to study and explore. Its vast potential is beyond our imagination, but we surely can learn step by step, gradually. And, who knows, we may unravel the complete truth one day! After all, we are discovering about what we really have in us, at the top floor of our body.
Human Brain mapping is one such tool which solves many of our queries! Let us learn more about it.
What is brain mapping?
Brain mapping can be defined as a set of techniques used in neuroscience to show the sequence of the images resulting in a representation similar to any map showing the Various functions of the parts of brain and their coordination with the help of nanotechnology and neurophysiology .
As we all know that a map is used for navigation from one point to another on ground. Similarly, the brain mapping gives the map of the brain which helps us in navigating through the various parts of it.
Few terms are common to any brain structure for that matter but in this article, our focus remains the ‘human brain mapping’. A human brain map not only identifies the spatial properties of the brain but also the biological characteristics.
In easy words, it can be said that human brain mapping is a tool for studying the anatomy and function of the brain. It makes the use of imaging, immunohistochemistry, cellular biology, engineering, nanotechnology and many more methodologies existing in medical science.
How is brain mapping done?
Brain mapping is done with the help of neuro-imaging. The billions of neurons, all are working together to make living possible. The number of neurons differs from organism to organism, and so does the abilities.
In present scenario specialists for clinical purpose or scientists for research work are using a human brain mapping technique known as neuroimaging. Neuroimaging is basically of two types including structural imaging and functional imaging.
Structural Imaging studies the structure of the human nervous system for large scale diagnosis of any existing intracranial disease such as injury or a tumor
Functional Imaging is utilized for the diagnosis of metabolic diseases at microscopic level. This technique of human brain mapping helps in studying the finer process and functionalities of various parts of brain.
Functional imaging is done with the help of Functional magnetic Resonance technique, generally known as (fMRI) which quantifies the various brain activities with the detection of changes in the blood flow through the various parts and the regions of human brain.
These hemodynamic responses are recorded and thus creating human brain mapping by imaging these changes in the blood flow.
The scientists use various methods and human brain mapping techniques to study brain anatomy and function. The visuals of a normal brain are compared to that of unhealthy brain, and the observations are noted down so that some conclusion can be derived. Also, they compare brain structures of different mammals with human brain mapping images. The activity of neurons is also put under surveillance and the records are maintained accordingly.
Why is the human brain so special and what makes it so special? How is it different from other brains? Such questions need an answer. Thus, brain mapping aims to provide answers to all questions. It gives the anatomical study of the brain along with the impacts it has due to the environment.
As the new techniques are continuously being discovered and the rest are being refined, brain mapping is getting stronger and more efficient, giving us more descriptive details about the brain.
We have discussed the techniques below in more elaborative way. Go and spend some time reading what we have for you.
What is brain mapping used for?
Human Brain mapping is used to identify the functional differences according to the regions in brain. We know that brain is an organ which has many parts. Each part has its own specific function, and you would be surprised to know, to some extent, this variation varies from person to person even. Brain mapping thus helps us to learn about the brain and its functions, along with the chances of regions prone to acquiring tumours or brain abnormalities.
It is not a technique used by commoners to explore brain; rather it is something made for the man of science. There is a lot to reveal about brain. The sudden connection of neuron and transfer of signal with the magnificent speed is a question to ponder upon. Brain mapping answers it all.
Also, it explains the learning process of humans. Earlier it was thought that the IQ levels remain same throughout, but the plasticity of brain reveals the fact that the learning process fluctuates and can be increased. How amazing! So, when are you exercising your brain now?
For the medical professionals, brain mapping brings answers to many injuries and brain disorders. This in turn fetches a set of effective treatments and better methods of diagnosis.
Human brain mapping
Brain mapping is essential to study each brain capacity, but human brain mapping tops the priority list. Why? Human brain needs to be understood from the grassroots’ level. The cortex human brain possesses is the most advanced; hence it is also called neo-cortex. The abilities hidden in this coiled walnut-like structure are not unravelled yet. Mysteries still remain hidden and the curiosity takes a complete new level.
Also, from the medical point of view, doctors should know the details of human brain so that they can combat the mental disorders and other issues effectively. The better diagnosis and early treatment could be done if there is plenty of knowledge.
Brain mapping test
Brain mapping test is a test used to reveal the hidden information a suspect or criminal might cover. It is a technique used to interpret the behaviour of the suspect and then compared to the observations made by the investigating officers.
The forensic science officers use the brain mapping test with different unusual technologies in order to find that whether a suspect can relate to the crime scene efficiently. The information stored inside the brain is corresponding to the crime scenario or not, this is what is extracted through this test.
The test is done by asking a few questions before undergoing the actual “process”. No more questions are asked then. Some sensors are attached to the head of the person and he or she is made to sit in front of a computer monitor. A few visuals and audio sounds are made and if the person relates to any of these visuals or sounds, then the sensors record the electrical activity and reveals that there is some connection of the image or sound with the crime scene.
This test is also called the brain wave fingerprinting and has 99.99% efficiency.
In crime investigation, this technique finds great use!
Brain Mapping Test Cost
The cost of Human Brain Mapping varies from city to city or place to place. In India, Human Brain mapping test cost Rs.400/- to Rs.2500/-. It also varies depending on the type of Brain Mapping test or procedure you are going through according to your disease or condition.
Prism brain mapping
The knowledge regarding brain involves the use of variety of technical terms and complex processes. This complexity is not easily understood by the common man. Only if it could be easily understood by the common man, neuroscience finds great benefits to the society.
Prism brain mapping is related to the preferential behaviour of a person and activities he or she does related to it. It tells how different or similar people react to situations in different ways. This method makes use of some visuals and charts to help the user to identify with self-behaviour.
It is a common responsibility of everyone to learn about brain and how it influences our behaviour. We should know how we influence others and how others influence us. Everyone has their own perception and response to the perception, and this response is behavioural pattern which is acquired all throughout the life.
Intra-operative brain mapping
The intra-operative mapping is done when the brain tumour surgeries or processes are performed when the patient is awake, but sedated. The process is thus also known as awake brain surgery.
This mapping is very useful in tumours which lie close to the major functional brain areas. The tumours would have been inoperable if intra-operative brain mapping would not have been there. This is so because the brain tumour which lies close to the areas of brain that control vision, speech, language and body movements is hard to remove and may result in significant loss.
Those brain tumours which do not have distinct boundaries and which may merge with the functional areas are usually the ones in which awake brain surgery is performed. Such a specific surgery and mapping may help to make the tumours shrink.
This surgery is very carefully planned and executed. The scalp of the patient is made deprived of any physical sensation or responsiveness and the patient is made calm. Any damage to critical parts is avoided. Also, it is made sure that the patient is able to communicate to the neurosurgeon during the surgery.
The consent of the patient is necessary and whether they will be able to follow the process or not, their view is respected.
A variety of anaesthesia is chosen according to the individual situation- whether the patient needs to be awake throughout the process or in between. The area occupied by the tumour is stimulated with the help of electrodes. In order to avoid any harm to the functional areas, the patient is asked to do some activity, for example, counting and looking at the visuals. The doctors then take the images of brain and create a map. This map is then used to locate the tumours and the functional areas, and the surgery is further put forward in action with the removal of tumour.
Functional brain mapping
In order to make the surgeries safe, brain mapping turns out to be the best support. Neurosurgeons make the use of brain maps and locate the areas which need to be saved from the tumours or any other condition. Delicate operations demand functional brain mapping. It is also successfully applied in research and clinical operations.
Functional brain mapping helps in identifying functional areas which are responsible for motor movements, expression and response, control of speech and language. The diseased portion is targeted and the crucial area is avoided of any damage.
The process involves the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanning along with the intra-operative ultrasound. The areas and the shape of the tumour are identified. Then the patient is taken to the pre-operative and the operative area. Anaesthesia is given and the functional brain mapping begins. It is to be noted that the language mapping requires the patient to stay awake and talk to the neurosurgeon, and during this time period, it ensured that the patient does not feel any pain. So, you can be a little relaxed if you have been wondering about the pain factor!
Functional brain mapping can be the saviour in any surgery. It is a pre-requisite which is highly essential to determine the proximity of the surgery.
EEG brain mapping
The EEG brain mapping is a way to measure the “electrical” activity of the brain. The brain, as we know, makes use of the chemical reactions and the electrical signals to deliver messages to and from the brain. The Electroencephalography makes use of this electrical activity and interprets it into the piece of information required.
Neurologists require EEG to deal with the range of brain disorders and mental health. The cortex, which is the major portion of the brain, is the one which is subjected to EEG. EEG shows the cortical regions with functional differences and region of high and low activity. If there is any abnormal behaviour in electric signal conductivity and coordination, then EEG identifies it and displays the information through neuro-feedback.
EEG is very beneficial in helping the neurologists study the root cause of many mental health problems and therefore, it finds a position of eminent scientific advancement.
QEEG brain mapping
QEEG stands for Quantitative electroencephalogram. This is a test which studies the electric signals of the brain and accordingly, the corresponding information is displayed in forms of patterns and interpretive details.
The process of QEEG is also referred as QEEG brain mapping. Simple EEG takes under the 19 areas of the cerebrum, but QEEG makes use of more electrodes and accounts for more than 24 areas of the brain. The electric signals are the raw material for the brain map. The images of the head are shown as maps with different colours and shades relaying some important information. The reports are always “colourful” and very obvious, attractive.
QEEG has limited medical applications, as a result of which it is suggested that the technique needs some improvement for increasing the range. Also, the data analysis needs some advancement so that unknown activity of brain signals can also be identified and interpreted.
Brain mapping techniques
Humans have made advancements in science and technology. New techniques have been introduced and the conventional ones have been refined. The evolution in the research methods has been gradual. A variety of techniques are used to identify the brain structure and functions, and derive every possible single piece of detail.
The following methods make use of taking images of the brain.
- Computer Axial Tomography (CAT) Scan
This method uses a computer which employs X-rays to take data from several angles and directions and produces pictures on the monitor. The images produced are cross-sectional which deliver appropriate amount of information.
- Structure Magnetic Resonance Imaging
This technique is used for examining the anatomy and pathology of the brain (the functional MRI scans the brain activity or function, not the structure.). The images are produced and studied by the neuro-scientists to deal with various psychiatric conditions.
- Diffusion Tensor MRI
It is recently developed technique which has aided one of the crucial areas of brain mapping. We know that the brain layers have neurons as the constituent cells. These neurons are the ones which relay information to and from the brain. In brain mapping, how can we skip the neural content? Being extremely significant, it is required to study the neural connections as well. But, with the limited brain mapping methods, it was quite difficult. Diffusion Tensor MRI solves this problem and gives an answer to many of the questions.
In this technique, the axonal arrangement and organisation is observed in the tissues of the nervous system. The data is stored in condensed form. This technique is further being explored to its full potential to help the humankind.
The following methods take into account the human brain activity:
Types of Human Brain Mapping Techniques
- Electroencephalography- EEG
An electroencephalogram or EEG is a type of Human Brain Mapping test used to find out the problems pertaining to electrical activities of human brain. EEG records the various wave patterns with the help of few small metal disks positioned on the scalp which sends signals through electrodes to the computer and thus, signals get recorded, forming a brain mapping pattern.
- Position Emission Tomography- PET
Postron emission tomography or PET is another human brain mapping technique used to observe and record metabolic processes in the body. It includes special kind of camera and radioactive chemicals for tracing the metabolic activities of various organs in the body. With the help of this brain mapping technique, the functionality check of brain is performed.
- Functional MRI- fMRI
Functional MRI or fMRI or Functional Magnetic Resonance imaging is a type of Human Brain Mapping Technique used to measure and record brain activity by detecting the changes in the blood flow in various parts or regions of the brain. The basic functionality of this technique lies in the fact that neuronal activation and cerebral blood flow are coupled with each other.
- Pharmacological Functional MRI- phMRI
Pharmacological Funtional Magnetic Resonance imaging or phMRI is used as a human brain mapping technique to record the changes in brain tissue activity due to response to stimuli to a sensory stimulus and thus helps in recording the evidences of neuronal engangements.
- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation- TMS
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS is a magnetic method of human brain mapping. This technique of brain mapping stimulates a small region of human brain during the TMS procedure with the help of a coil called magnetic field generator, placed close to the brain of the patient going through TMS procedure.
Apart from the above mentioned techniques, the advancements are continuous. New techniques are being discovered for getting a deep insight of the brain.
A very interesting technique which gives the neural information is “Brainbow”. It gives a specific colour to each neuron! How colourful!
Brain mapping test for kids
The brain mapping test is usually done by making use of the fingertips. These tips are connected to the four lobes of the brain. These lobes are very specific in their function, you must know! If you feel that your communication with your child is not apt or needs some improvement, then brain mapping can help you to figure out the problem. It just takes a few days to get the test report and proper counselling is provided accordingly.
The personalities are defined easily through the brain mapping test. The parents are usually confused about the learning pattern of their child. Some children learn better through visuals, some through listening and some through experiencing. The brain mapping test will tell you about the strong front of your child, and in this manner you can improve his/her learning capability.
It also tells you about which hemisphere is dominant in action. There is a line above our head which separates the cortex in two hemispheres: the right hemisphere and the left hemisphere. Each hemisphere has some specific functions, and each hemisphere has its own strength. The left handed people and the right handed people, the distinction arises from this dominancy only.
The intellectual performance of the kids is defined, with their logical ability and kinaesthetic sense described. Based on the personality, it also foretells the suitable career options. Emotional levels are also explained which are helpful in building a strong attitude towards exams and other stress situations.
Brain mapping test online
Brain mapping tests usually equip many hi-tech tools and methods which a common man cannot have at home. But, the brain mapping test can also be taken online. It analyses the brain health, assess the functional ability and delivers approximate report. You can rely on these reports, but always go for the off-line test.
The reports are based on research work and surveys, and may not be individual specific. The test may involve audio and visuals, or any other sources.
Organization for Human Brain Mapping or OHBM is an organisation established in the year 1955 in Paris during a meeting of ISCBFM i.e. International Society for Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism. This is basically an organization of scientists studying the various aspects of Human brain Mapping organizing themselves annually during a Meet popularily known as “Annual Meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping”.
The primary mission of this organization is to understand and advance in the field of anatomical and functional organization of human brain by combining the various investigations and studies on Human Brain Mapping.
The organization for human brain mapping consists of total 2500-3000 members including various neurologists, physicists, engineers, software developers, psychiatrists, statisticians etc.
Brain mapping centre
The brain mapping centres are available all over the world. Go and locate one nearby you!