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For centuries scientists have been fascinated with the question of how the brain works. Investigators have looked at both where different functions are localized and how the anatomical microstructure varies across the brain surface. Here we discuss how advances in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have allowed in vivo visualization of the fine structure of the brain that was previously only visible in post-mortem brains. We present data showing the correspondence between definitions of the primary visual cortex defined anatomically using very high-resolution MRI and functionally using functional MRI. We consider how this technology can be applied to allow the investigation of brains that differ from normal, and what this ever-evolving technology may be able to reveal about in vivo brain structure in the next few years.

Original publication




Journal article


Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci

Publication Date





137 - 146


Brain, Brain Diseases, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Myelin Sheath