According to a new study by the University of Zurich, each person has a unique anatomical characteristic of the brain. This diversity is the result of a combination of genetic factors and individual experiences.
“Since there are no two different prints of sprays, dactyloscopy has become the most reliable method for identifying the identity of the police, geneticists, smartphone makers,” said one professor from the same university. But what about the brain?
Previous studies focused on the central nervous system undoubtedly show that individual experiences and life circumstances affect the formation of the brain. “Professional musicians, or chess players, for example, have special characteristics in the brain areas most used by their activities,” the university says.
However, short-term events can also leave traces in the brain: if, for example, the right arm is not used for two weeks, and for two weeks remaining in the same position, the thickness of the cerebral cortex in the areas responsible for control will be reduced.
“We found that experiences that have an impact on the brain are genetic so that over the years each person develops a completely individual anatomical brain structure,” the university said.
To investigate their hypothesis, scientists followed brain activity in 190 healthy subjects over two years using magnetic resonance imaging. The study included 450 anatomical features, such as the thickness of the cortex and the extent of the gray and white mass.
For each participant, the researchers could identify an individual combination of specific anatomical features, with the accuracy of the identification being greater by 20%.
“With this study, we managed to confirm that the structure of the human brain is individual. The combination of genetic and non-genetic factors clearly affects not only the function of the brain but also its anatomical characteristics, “says the study’s conclusion.