Allen Institute re-maps the brain

The Allen Institute's map is the highest resolution map of the brain ever.

SEATTLE - The Allen Institute for Brain Science has released the highest resolution atlas of the human brain to date.

The Allen Human Brain Reference Atlas was recently published in an issue of the Journal of Comparative Neurology. It updates that map and even identifies and clarifies new brain regions.

Neuroscientists still use the Broadmann areas map, which was released in the early 1900s.

"To understand the human brain, we need to have a detailed description of its underlying structure," said Ed Lein, Ph.D., Investigator at the Allen Institute for Brain Science.

This is essentially a virtual microscope, said Lein, adding it allows users to zoom in all the way down to cellular resolution.

The map took four years to complete. The brain was sectioned and then sliced to the size smaller than a human hair, said Lein. The sections were stained. The images were blown up to the size of a poster. An anatomist outlined the parts of the brain by hand, which a graphic designer then labeled and compiled into the new atlas.

"This is the most structurally complete atlas to date, and we hope it will serve as a new reference standard for the human brain across different disciplines," he said.

Related links:

Allen Brain Atlas

Copyright 2016 KING


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