Our Brain’s Atlas: Exploring Connections

I have been exploring our “Brain’s Atlas” introduced in my recent post and discovered an extraordinary resource: the Relationship Viewer. A snapshot is shown to the right, appearing as a spiraling multi-colored pin wheel.


This interactive viewer developed by the research group of Dr. Arthur W. Toga at the David Geffen UCLA School of Medicine Laboratory of Neuro Imaging (LONI) invites the user to explore:

Relationships in 2D brain, 3D brain and circular lines

As you explore the connections, the color scheme is:

Warmer colors mean stronger connections and cooler colors mean weaker connections. Press the empty space in the middle of the circle to show all of the connections again after selecting a region of interest.

How did they create this stunning interactive graphic? According to the LONI website:


The LONI Probabilistic Brain Atlas (LPBA40) is a series of maps of brain anatomic regions. These maps were produced from a set of whole-head MRI of 40 human volunteers. Each MRI was manually delineated to identify a set of 56 structures in the brain, most of which are within the cortex. These delineations were then transformed into a common atlas space to produce a set of co-registered anatomical labels. The original MRI data were also transformed into the atlas space.

If you are fascinated by neuroanatomy, I invite you to explore this viewer and see the myriad of connections that we have in our brain’s landscape that is just beginning to reveal itself.


  1. #1 Ralph
    January 4, 2011

    The brain is amazingly complex, systematic and a beautiful enigma at the same time.

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