How one man's 84 MRIs are bringing the brain connectome into clearer focus

Do brain connectomes change with a person’s varying moods, external stimuli or caffeine intake? If so, how so?

To answer these and related questions, a Stanford psychologist scanned his own brain with fMRI approximately twice a week for a year and a half.

As a result, Russell Poldrack, PhD, and team have come up with the most detailed map of brain connectivity ever, according to the Stanford Report.

One of their more fascinating findings was that drinking coffee—or the caffeinated beverage of one’s choice—changes the brain’s connectivity quite dramatically.

“We don't really know if [the connectivity] is better or worse, but it's interesting that these are relatively low-level areas,” Poldrack says. “It may well be that I’m more fatigued on those days, and that drives the brain into this state that’s focused on integrating those basic processes more.”

Stanford has posted the short feature article online, while the journal Nature Communications has the scientific study behind it.