Fall 2019

A view of the brain at work

A unique device offers U of M neuroscientists a view of the brain surface as it functions in real time

It’s a wish come true for neuroscientists: they can now literally watch how the entire brain surface functions in real time.

A new device called See-Shell, developed by University of Minnesota researchers and supported in part by philanthropy, is a 3D-printed transparent skull implant used to study mice. It allows for fundamental brain research that could shed light on human neurological conditions such as concussions, addiction, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.

“These are studies we couldn’t do in humans,” says Timothy Ebner, M.D., Ph.D., head of the Medical School’s Department of Neuroscience, “but they are extremely important in our understanding of how the brain works so we can improve treatments.”