3-D model shows brain in finer detail
Researchers cut thin slices of a brain using a tool called a microtome.
June 20th, 2013
02:00 PM ET

3-D model shows brain in finer detail

A group of international researchers announced Thursday that they have created a three-dimensional model of the human brain in unprecedented resolution. It's called BigBrain.

"BigBrain is the first ever brain model in 3-D, which really presents a realistic human brain with all the cells and all the structures of a human brain," said Karl Zilles, senior professor of the Julich Aachen Research Alliance, in a press briefing. The research is being published in the journal Science.

This model is akin to a scaffold into which information about the living brain can be inserted. It's a reference to provide framework for research in many directions, such as how the brain is organized.

Having this model allows researchers to study the brain in finer detail than ever before. Previously, atlases of the human brain have had a resolution of about 1 millimeter, based on magnetic resonance imaging. This one, however, goes 50 times deeper, with a resolution of .02 millimeters in all directions. This is thinner than a human hair, said lead study author Katrin Amunts, director of the Cecile and Oskar Vogt Institute for Brain Research at the Heinrich Heine University in Dusseldorf, Germany.

BigBrain will be made freely available to the public.

Researchers who study neuroscience can use BigBrain to simulate how a brain develops normally or how it degenerates in conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, said Alan Evans of the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University and senior author on the paper. It makes it possible to model how the brain would perform without certain key connections or structures, investigating the process of age-related impairment.

"We can understand more about how the brain works if we can model it inside a powerful computing system," Evans said.

An Alzheimer's researcher could also use BigBrain to look into the details of the hippocampus, a seahorse-shaped structure in the brain crucial for memory, Zilles said.

Creating such a model of the human brain is substantially more difficult than creating a similar model for a mouse. The human cerebral cortex volume is about 7,500 times larger than that of a mouse cortex. The human brain has 53,000 times more white matter than that of a mouse.

The researchers assembled this model based on the brain of a single person: A 65-year-old woman. They cut her brain into more than 7,000 sections at a thickness of .02 millimeters, and stained each of these pieces to detect cell bodies. Then each section was digitized.

The BigBrain will eventually be able to integrate molecular data into the model, something the researchers are presently working on.

"Only if we understand the level of molecular distribution patterns and expression patterns in the brain, and connect it with the detailed anatomy, then we can really understand the relationship between structure and function in the human brain," Zilles said.

The size of the data is mind boggling: It's on the order of a terabyte, which is about 100,000 times larger than a typical MRI, Evans said.

The researchers have also been in touch with the Allen Institute for Brain Science, which has its own brain atlas data portal, about integrating the Allen data with BigBrain.

It's important for the field of neuroscience to have one brain model that serves as the common basis for scientific discussions, Zilles said.

Ultimately, researchers would like to have a model with a resolution of one micrometer, such that details at the single-cell level would be revealed.

The research is part of the Human Brain Project, a 1-billion euro European program to recreate the human brain inside a supercomputer.

More on the brain: Top brain scientist is 'philosopher at heart'

soundoff (673 Responses)
  1. rv renovation near me


    May 23, 2021 at 10:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Social Media Marketing Businesses


    May 24, 2021 at 04:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. horse trailer repair near me


    May 24, 2021 at 20:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. rv remodeling companies

    Great article! We will be linking to this particularly great article on our site. Keep up the good writing.


    May 24, 2021 at 21:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. redtube co


    May 24, 2021 at 22:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Video Marketing Near Me

    I was very pleased to uncover this great site. I need to to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely really liked every bit of it and I have you saved to fav to check out new things on your blog.


    May 25, 2021 at 01:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Digital Marketing Firms

    This blog was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something which helped me. Kudos!


    May 25, 2021 at 04:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Local Marketing Business

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you so much, However I am going through troubles with your RSS. I don’t understand why I am unable to join it. Is there anybody else getting the same RSS problems? Anyone who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!


    May 25, 2021 at 04:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Video Marketing Business


    May 25, 2021 at 07:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Video Marketing Companies Near Me

    Hello! I simply want to offer you a big thumbs up for your excellent information you've got here on this post. I'll be returning to your site for more soon.


    May 25, 2021 at 11:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Content Marketing Company

    You are so cool! I do not think I have read through anything like this before. So great to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject matter. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that is needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!


    May 25, 2021 at 12:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Content Marketing Boutique


    May 25, 2021 at 13:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Social Media Marketing Specialists

    Right here is the right blog for anyone who would like to understand this topic. You understand so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic which has been written about for many years. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!


    May 25, 2021 at 14:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. SEO Marketing Companies

    You ought to take part in a contest for one of the best websites on the net. I most certainly will highly recommend this website!


    May 25, 2021 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Internet Marketing Company Near Me


    May 25, 2021 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Digital Marketing Experts


    May 25, 2021 at 16:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Google Marketing Company

    I like it when people get together and share thoughts. Great blog, stick with it!


    May 25, 2021 at 18:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Social Media Marketing Specialist Near Me

    I’m amazed, I must say. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s equally educative and engaging, and without a doubt, you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is something too few people are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm very happy that I stumbled across this during my search for something relating to this.


    May 25, 2021 at 18:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Digital Marketing Services


    May 25, 2021 at 20:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Google Marketing Experts

    Hello there, I do believe your website might be having browser compatibility problems. Whenever I take a look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in IE, it has some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to give you a quick heads up! Aside from that, excellent blog!


    May 25, 2021 at 22:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Social Media Marketing Company


    May 25, 2021 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Digital Marketing Specialists


    May 25, 2021 at 22:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Bay Doors California

    This is the perfect site for everyone who hopes to find out about this topic. You know so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic that has been discussed for a long time. Wonderful stuff, just great!


    May 26, 2021 at 00:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. collision repair riverside ca

    Hello there! This article couldn’t be written any better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept talking about this. I most certainly will send this post to him. Pretty sure he'll have a very good read. Thank you for sharing!


    May 26, 2021 at 01:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. rv furniture near me


    May 26, 2021 at 02:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. rv slide out remodel


    May 26, 2021 at 07:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RV Camera Riverside

    An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been conducting a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me lunch simply because I found it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time to discuss this topic here on your internet site.


    May 26, 2021 at 10:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Solar Panels Systems Near Me

    Greetings, I do think your site could possibly be having web browser compatibility problems. When I look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in I.E., it's got some overlapping issues. I just wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Besides that, great site!


    May 26, 2021 at 13:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Roof Mounted A/C Leak Repair On Sprinter Van


    May 26, 2021 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. yorba linda dump

    I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!


    May 26, 2021 at 16:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Sprinter Van Body Repair


    May 26, 2021 at 21:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Refrigerator Near Me

    You need to take part in a contest for one of the greatest websites on the net. I will highly recommend this site!


    May 26, 2021 at 23:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Brant Lagrasse

    This is a topic which is near to my heart... Best wishes! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    May 27, 2021 at 02:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Beds California

    Spot on with this write-up, I really believe this website needs much more attention. I’ll probably be returning to see more, thanks for the information!


    May 27, 2021 at 05:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. nearest rv repair shop

    Hi there! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I'll forward this post to him. Pretty sure he's going to have a very good read. I appreciate you for sharing!


    May 27, 2021 at 06:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. rv furniture outlet store near me


    May 27, 2021 at 09:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Colby Elk


    May 27, 2021 at 10:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RV Camera Orange County

    You've made some good points there. I checked on the web for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.


    May 27, 2021 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Video Marketing Specialist


    May 27, 2021 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Forklift Maintenance California


    May 27, 2021 at 18:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. truck and trailer repair shops near me

    Good article! We will be linking to this great article on our website. Keep up the great writing.


    May 27, 2021 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Sound System Near Me


    May 27, 2021 at 18:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. rv repair orange county california


    May 27, 2021 at 19:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. solar system repair near me


    May 27, 2021 at 20:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. rv body shop


    May 27, 2021 at 22:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. rv furniture california

    I needed to thank you for this fantastic read!! I definitely enjoyed every bit of it. I have you book marked to look at new stuff you post…


    May 27, 2021 at 22:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Social Media Marketing Consultants


    May 28, 2021 at 01:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV Entertainment System Orange County


    May 28, 2021 at 01:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Jayce Pruitt

    Saved as a favorite, I really like your blog!


    May 28, 2021 at 02:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Social Media Marketing Near Me

    Your style is unique compared to other people I've read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this blog.


    May 28, 2021 at 02:59 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Leave a Reply to Mercedes Benz Dealer Service Sprinter Near Me 91605


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.