BigBrain – the complete 3D map of the brain is here

BigBrain is part or the Human Brain Project, a 1 billion euro initiative from EU on the road to creating the first supercomputer simulation of the human brain.

The details of the research have been published in Science ( Amunts, K. et al. Science 340, 1472–1475 (2013) ) and they specify that the 3D map of the brain is shown at 20 micrometers resolution, a 50 times better resolution than most atlases.

The way the researchers created the BigBrain map was by slicing a human brain (a 65 years old woman) and then they analyzed each slice. Each such slice would show the organization of neurons with microscopic precision.

Nature describes the work bone by researchers:

The atlas was compiled from 7,400 brain slices, each thinner than a human hair. Imaging the sections by microscope took a combined 1,000 hours and generated 10 trillion bytes of data. Supercomputers in Canada and Germany churned away for years reconstructing a three-dimensional volume from the images, and correcting for tears and wrinkles in individual sheets of tissue.

Source: Nature.

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