Maximum probability map of seven newly discovered areas of the human insula. Figure from Quabs et al 2022 (CC 4.0).

Seven new areas in the human insular cortex mapped for the first time

A team of researchers from the C. and O. Vogt Institute for Brain Research at the University of Düsseldorf and the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1) at Forschungszentrum Jülich have identified seven new areas of the human insular cortex, a region of the brain that is involved in a wide variety of functions, including self-awareness, cognition, motor control, sensory and emotional processing. All newly detected areas are now available as 3D probability maps in the Julich Brain Atlas, and can be openly accessed via the Human Brain Project’s EBRAINS infrastructure. Their findings, published in NeuroImage, provide new insights into the structural organisation of this complex and multifunctional region of the human neocortex.

Portrait picture of Alexey Chervonnyy next to the logo of the Hector Fellow Academy

Alexey Chervonnyy receives PhD Scholarship from Hector Fellow Academy

Alexey Chervonnyy has been awarded a PhD Scholarship from the Hector Fellow Academy. The scholarship, awarded after a multi-stage selection process, will fund a three-year research project at the C. and O. Vogt Institute for Brain Research in Düsseldorf under the supervision of Hector Fellow Katrin Amunts. Chervonnyy will investigate the structure of the human hypothalamus, a part of the brain that plays a key role in regulating neuroendocrine, behavioural and autonomic processes essential to life, such as circadian rhythms, metabolic processes, sleep and body temperature.

Surface of a human brain with analyses areas highlighted in different colors: visual system (purple line), auditory (orange) and motor area (dark grey), and the somatosensory area (green line)

HBP researchers shed new light on human brain organisation

New brain maps show that cells, receptors and gene activity change along the same boundaries. The study, which was conducted by researchers of the Institute of Neurosciences and Medicine (INM-1) at Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ), elucidates principles of human brain organisation for areas of the visual, auditory, somatosensory and motor systems.

Representation of the left hemisphere of the human brain with the six newly identified areas highlighted

Six new brain areas involved in memory, language and music processing identified

Julich Brain Atlas researchers have identified six new areas that form a functional region with a crucial role in cognitive functions of the lateral prefrontal cortex of the human brain. The team from Forschungszentrum Jülich, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf and RWTH Aachen University showed for the first time that the inferior frontal sulcus (IFS) and its junction (IFJ) are subdivided into six distinct areas, which are associated with working memory, language and music processing, among other functions.

MR images showing progressive degeneration of brain tissue in a Parkinson’s disease patient. Image adapted from Pieperhoff et al. 2022 .

New study reveals how the volumes of brain regions change in Parkinson’s disease

Researchers of the Human Brain Project (HBP) found that in Parkinson’s disease the volumes of certain brain regions decrease over time in a specific pattern that is associated with clinical symptoms and largely coincides with the pattern described in Braak’s famous staging theory. The new study published in Cortex provides a detailed description of the structural changes over a long period of time and with an unprecedented spatial detail.