a A representative brain lesion (left) together with its estimated disconnections (right). b The stroke lesion distribution (top row) compared with the synthetic lesion distribution (bottom row). c The two-dimension space visualisation of stroke (red) and synthetic lesion (blue) distribution. d The two-dimension space visualisation of stroke (red) and synthetic disconnectome (blue) distribution. See also Supplementary Fig. 1 for the exploration of a wide range of t-SNE parameters as well as uniform manifold approximation and projection for dimension reduction—UMAP53. Replication of the disconnection estimates in a lower resolution age matched sample of ten participants indicated a good reproducibility (r = 0.866 ± 0.066)

A collaborative work between a French CNRS research team led by Michel Thiebaut de Schotten and a British UCL team led by Parashkev Nachev has just produced the very first functional atlas of human cerebral white matter, mapping more than 500 brain functions. This is a major conceptual innovation in human neuroscience research that will allow the study of new brain functions on the basis of their connectivity. It could also be a valuable medical tool in identifying stroke injuries and the disruption of functional circuits they cause.

We commonly call gray matter the outer layer of the brain (or cerebral cortex) devoted to the most integrated cerebral functions, such as visuospatial, language or memory skills. The cerebral cortex is constituted of the cell bodies of neurons, giving it its eponymous colour. Just as good communication between individuals is essential for the functioning of a society, good communication between cortical regions is essential for brain function.