Stanford psychologist Russell Poldrack climbed into an MRI machine and scanned his brain for 10 minutes Tuesdays and Thursdays. Every week. For a year and a half. This makes his brain the most studied in the world. He did this as part of his “My Connectome project.”
“Connectome” is the collective term describing the major networks between different functional areas of the human brain.
Poldrack attempted to find answers to the following questions: How does a connectome map relate to your brain? How long do these connections persist? Or do they vary with different conditions and moods? And what if you’re a schizophrenic, alcoholic, meditator, or videogamer, etc., how does your connectome look?
Poldrack fasted and drew blood on Tuesdays for testing with metabolomics (chemical fingerprints in biological fluids) and genomics (gene tests). You can learn more about this experiment in the video below:
Here are some of his most interesting finds:
Poldrack plans to develop software that can illuminate the interaction between brain function and gene expression. But so far he only has a single test subject: Himself.