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Sep 4, 2017

Decoding the patterns that make our brains human

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Each of our human brains is special, carrying distinctive memories and giving rise to our unique thoughts and actions. Most research on the brain focuses on what makes one brain different from another. But recently, Allen Institute researchers turned the question around.

“So much research focuses on the variations between individuals, but we turned that question on its head to ask, what makes us similar?” says Ed Lein, Ph.D., Investigator at the Allen Institute for Brain Science. “What is the conserved element among all of us that must give rise to our unique cognitive abilities and human traits?”

Their work, published this month in Nature Neuroscience, looked at gene expression across the entire human brain and identified a surprisingly small set of molecular patterns that dominate gene expression in the human brain and appear to be common to all individuals.

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