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Researchers rediscover Brain's Major Pathway after disappearance of medical texts for Decades

A team of researchers claimed that it has tracked the complex history of a major pathway in the human brain. The neural pathway was not in medical textbooks for many years.

Nebilla Benatjia, NFLNR, Nov 19, 2014

 According to the team, the tract of white matter, which is a component of the central nervous system, could be helpful in knowing how visual information is processed in human brain. It could also tell how reading skills of children develop.

A few years back, Jason Yeatman, a researcher from the University of Washington, had spotted bundle of nerve fibers in the brain. According to him, he had never heard about that bundle before. While studying that part and its connection with other parts of the brain, Yeatman found that the unfamiliar connective structure was important one.

To find more about that structure, Yeatman and his colleagues visit another scientist who vaguely remembered this bundle of nerves. The scientist had seen the bundle in an old medical textbook.

Yeatman and his fellow researchers studied textbooks from 20th century. He found that the bundle of nerve fibers was vertical occipital fasciculus (VOF), which was discovered by a German neurologist named Carl Wenicke. Yeatman said, "That started us on this fascinating detective mission figuring out how this brain anatomy got forgotten".

According to Yeatman, when Wernicke discovered the VOF, he would have told about it to his mentor, the neuroanatomist Theodor Meynert, who had theorized that all neural pathways moved from front to back across the brain. Meynert had theorized neural pathways horizontally and VOF was found traveling vertically. That is why Meynert did not include VOF in a diagram of brain in 1892 diagram.

It may be possible that the structure didn't impress him as it was opposing his other theories.

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