Mind

Human Brain in 3-D Detail

The highly detailed new atlas is like Google Earth for the human brain. 

By Kat McGowanJan 20, 2014 5:41 PM
3D-Brain.jpg
Brain Imaging Centre, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University

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Current brain maps are low resolution; it’s as if you can see major landmarks, but not local streets. In June, a Canadian and German team introduced what is arguably the most detailed 3-D atlas of the brain so far. Called BigBrain, the map took 10 years to complete. It is made of digital images of a 65-year-old woman’s brain at 20-micron increments, about twice the width of a red blood cell. That’s 1 terabyte (or 1 trillion bytes) of images — a veritable Google Earth inside your head.

[This article originally appeared in print as "Human Brain in 3-D Detail."]

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