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A Mind in Time


An unprecedented view of one person’s brain function over many months could unlock new therapies.

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Two mornings a week for the better part of an 18-month stretch, you could find Russell Poldrack with his head inside a giant metal doughnut — the business end of a magnetic resonance imager. As Poldrack lay still for 10 noisy minutes, the machine measured the activity throughout his brain’s neural networks. Roughly once-a-week blood draws followed, checking nutrient and gene expression levels in his body. In total, Poldrack racked up 104 gratingly loud brain scans. He got stuck by…

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