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Meet your brain - a 3D printed model!

Retired miner John Scott from Edinburgh is one of more than 1,000 people who agreed to be tested as part of the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 study. Today he met a 3D model of his brain!

Brain Imaging to assess thinking skills and ageing

Retired miner John Scott from Edinburgh is one of more than 1,000 people who agreed to be tested as part of the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 study.

At 11 years old, Mr Scott was one of the many children in Scotland who took a mental ability test at school. Many years later the group, known as the LBC 1936, were contacted by the University to take part in follow-up studies. Each participant's thinking skills and health have been tested over the past decade. The results have formed the basis of a major study into how mental ability in youth affects thinking skills and health in later life.

Edinburgh Imaging's Brain Research Imaging Centre (BRIC) carried out all the MRI scanning for the study and processed the results to be analysed by their staff and those at the The Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology (CCACE).

The National Museum of Scotland exhibition

John gave permission for data from his brain scans to be processed by Dr Mark Bastin and Dave Liewald, and for them to create 3D images of the brain surface and white matter. They then worked in collaboration with Sophie Goggins, Assistant Curator of Biomedicine at the National Museum of Scotland and the Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), to develop two brain models, which will be used for the medical imaging exhibition to be held this summer at the NMS. The resulting 3D print is a true representation of the structure of Mr Scott’s living brain.

Meeting of Minds

Mr Scott saw the models of his brain for the first time at the National Museums of Scotland’s Collection Care Centre, where he came face to face with the 3D print of his living brain, (processed by the ECA) along with a stunning representation of Mr Scott's white matter (tractography) etched in crystal glass.