The Mind Vault

A peek inside the Harvard brain bank, where thousands of specimens await scientific study.

In a utilitarian room at Mclean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, more than 3,300 identical Tupperware containers are stacked on long metal shelves. Inside each is a human brain—or, more accurately, what’s left of one. Here at the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center, donated specimens are sliced up, preserved, stored, and eventually parceled out to neuroscientists worldwide who study them for clues to disease, cognition, and the mysterious cellular underpinnings of psychology. New...

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