Technology from “Harry Potter” Movies Brings Magic of Brain into Focus

The Harry Potter film franchise is a household name for it’s wonderful story and impeccable magic. Now, it has recently been a central focus for science and technology (but don’t tell your kids that they’re watching something educational! Let’s keep it magical.) According to Tyler Ard, a neuroscientist in Arthur Toga’s lab at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, states that the same techniques that generate images of smoke, clouds, and fantastic beasts in the Harry Potter movies can render neurons and brain structures in fine-grained detail. The massive amount of data gathered from these techniques makes them perfect for generating brain scans. Ard’s team combined their visualization software with virtual reality to allow scientists to further explore the brain in three dimension, even performing virtual brain dissections. Ard and his colleagues developed code that enables them to easily enter data into the software. They plan to make the code available to other researchers in the coming year.

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