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The anatomy of each brain is unique

The anatomy of each brain is unique

According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Zurich, each human brain has a unique anatomy. This results from genetic factors and the experiences of the individual.

According to an article published by, Lutz Jäncke, UZH professor of neuropsychology, was able to demonstrate this.

Our experiences leave their mark on the brain.

This is why professional musicians, golfers or chess players, all have particular characteristics in certain regions of the brain used for their activities. But even short-lived events could leave their mark: an arm held still for two weeks leaves the brain cortex thinner in the areas that control the arm in question. “We believe that these experiences have an impact on the brain, together with the genetics of the person, which means that over the years each person develops a completely unique brain anatomy,” explains Jäncke.

MRIs to see

Jäncke and his team examined the brains of almost 200 healthy, elderly adults with MRI scans, three times over a two-year period. The researchers were able to identify a unique combination of traits, and the precision was such that in 90% of cases individuals could be identified by the characteristics of their brains.

Advances in neuroscience

“Thirty years ago it was thought that the brain did not have unique traits. Identifying a person by the anatomy of their brain was unimaginable, ”says Jäncke.


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