Brain Trauma in Iraq

May/June 2008. By Emily Singer

Scientists have developed a computer model to explore how explosions damage the brain. The model includes a virtual head (shown here sliced down the middle to reveal the brain) and a virtual pressure wave (shown here entering from the right side of the frame). Red indicates the highest level of pressure. When the wave hits the head, it transfers some of its energy from the air to the tissue. The pressure then ricochets around the brain. The pressure continues to impact the brain even after the pressure wave in the air has passed.

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