Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo


Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

The new imaging also provides neurosurgeons who deal with disorders of the electrical systems of the brain with the ability to precisely determine the location of implanted electrodes used to monitor brain electrophysiological signals; such signals help physicians find the epileptic lesion to be removed by surgery. With the new software, electrodes can be accurately and automatically mapped.

Bruce Fischl, an assistant in neuroscience at Massachusetts General Hospital, says that the idea is “interesting” but cautions that there are a number of levels of ambiguity when talking about connectivity in imaging. “Just because you live next to the Mass Pike doesn’t mean that there is an exit,” he says.

Lai’s group is continuing to fine-tune the technology, and he expects it to be in operating rooms within the next year. It will initially be used for epilepsy and brain-tumor surgery, but “its ability to show the spatial relationship between structures of interest makes it general enough to be used for anything,” says Lai.

Three-dimensional navigation plays a significant role in the work of neurosurgeons, says Sharan. “I know where I am going in 3-D space, and this [new software] is just leveraging that ability. That is why I am excited about something that should have been here 10 years ago.”

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Credit: Song Lai, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

Tagged: Biomedicine, software, brain, imaging, mapping, MRI, tumor, fMRI, brain map

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives


Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me