Washington: Scientists claim to have mapped the physical architecture of intelligence in the brain. A team at the University of Illinois claims it`s research is unique as it enlisted an extraordinary pool of volunteer participants: 182 Vietnam veterans with highly localised brain damage from penetrating head injuries. "It`s a significant challenge to find patients (for research) who have brain damage, and even further, it`s very hard to find patients who have focal brain damage," said leadscientist Prof Aron Barbey. Brain damage -- from stroke, for example – often impairs multiple brain areas, he said, complicating the task of identifying the cognitive contributions of specific brainstructures. But the very focal brain injuries analysed in the study allowed the researchers "to draw inferences about how specific brain structures are necessary for performance", Barbey said."By studying how damage to particular brain regions produces specific forms of cognitive impairment, we can map the architecture of the mind, identifying brain structures that are critically important for specific intellectual abilities," he added.
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