Midnight Scan Club Studies Brain’s Inner-Workings After Hours

A colorful brain scan of Associate Professor of Neurology and Radiology Nico Dosenbach, MD, PhD.

In their quest to compile a massive amount of data on individual brains, a group of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis scientists banded together and used themselves as study subjects to form the Midnight Scan Club.

Nico U. Dosenbach, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurology and of radiology, started the Midnight Scan Club in 2013 with Steve Nelson, PhD, then a research scientist in psychology. They compiled hours of data in the middle of the night when the scanners were more accessible and cost-effective. Their work led to 10 individual-specific connectomes — detailed maps of neural brain connections that reveal spatial and organizational variability in brain networks — that may one day help determine personalized treatments for brain-related disorders.

The research is published in Neuron and featured on the cover of the Aug. 16 print edition of the journal.

Read more from the School of Medicine.