Brain maps online

February 27, 2007

Digital atlases of the brains of humans, monkeys, dogs, cats, mice, birds and other animals have been created and posted online by researchers at the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience. features the highest resolution whole-brain atlases ever constructed, with over 50 terabytes of brain image data directly accessible online. Users can explore the brains of humans and a variety of other species at an unprecedented level of detail, from a broad view of the brain to the fine details of nerves and connections. The website also includes a suite of free, downloadable tools for navigating and analyzing brain data.

"Many users have described it as a 'Google Maps' of the brain," said Shawn Mikula, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis who is first author on a paper describing the work.

The high-resolution maps will enable researchers to use "virtual microscopy" to compare healthy brains with others, looking at structure, gene expression and the distribution of different proteins. They will enable better understanding of the organization of normal brains, and could help researchers in identifying fine morphological and chemical abnormalities underlying Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurological diseases, Mikula said.

To make the maps, the researchers started with sections of brain mounted on microscope slides. Those slides were scanned to create image files or "virtual slides," and assembled like tiles into composite images. The maps have a resolution of better than half a micrometer per pixel, or 55,000 dots per inch, with virtual slides approaching 30 gigabytes in size each.

Source: University of California - Davis

Explore further: Researchers develop liquid-crystal-based compound lenses that work like insect eyes

Related Stories

New app first to use gesture for language learning

January 29, 2015

While you might think a person shaking her phone or tablet from side to side is having issues with the device, she might actually be playing a game that has her mimicking a steering wheel motion as part of a language lesson.

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

( -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.