Researchers are leveraging social networking techniques like crowdsourcing to gain a better understanding of the biology of brain function, the New York Times reports (Carey, New York Times, 4/15).
Crowdsourcing refers to the process of developing a group consensus by pooling ideas from a broad community, often over the Internet (iHealthBeat, 10/8/10).
Using Crowdsourcing for Brain Research
According to the Times, the high cost and complexity of brain imaging studies have made it difficult for researchers to determine how common gene variations affect thought and behavior.
However, researchers recently used crowdsourcing to combine data from more than 200 scientists, helping them identify genes that play a role in brain size and memory. The findings were published in a series of papers in the journal Nature Genetics.
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