Some of the major goals of biomedical research include understanding how an embryo develops into an adult and how changes in the brain of a baby result in a human mind. Using advanced non-invasive imaging techniques such as MRI, it is possible to see how a baby’s brain is different from its mother’s. Some of the differences are dramatic, such as the smaller size of the baby's brain with less pronounced folding. Meanwhile, despite the “high-tech” roots of the image, the powerful connection between mother and child endures.
Remember your mother on Mother’s Day—Sunday, May 8th.
The mother and her son are curled up together inside the tube of a 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging scanner. The baby was taking a nap since a single MR image, like this one, takes several minutes to capture, and any movement, even just a millimeter, will leave a blur on the screen.
Rebecca Saxe PhD, and Atsushi Takahashi, PhD. Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT, and Athinoula A. Martinos, PhD, Imaging Center at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT, Cambridge, USA