As an undergrad in the anatomy class I was fascinated. The structural complexity of the brain was just wonderous to me. It was also a giant pain to remember all the names. Luckily my roommate was also in the same anatomy class and the sheep brain we were keeping in the fridge didn’t bother her either, and we both passed that exam.
But you really probably don’t need to keep a brain in your fridge any more. Just yesterday I was reading a post on ScienceBlogs about the Wired article on the Allen Brain Atlas.
Jonah Lehrer has written an article about the Allen Brain Atlas project that is really informative. And has lots of pictures. But the photos are probably not-safe-for-breakfast if you aren’t the type to keep a brain in your fridge.
Great timing–we are just about to release a terrific tutorial on the ABA, I hope more people will be able to use it effectively. It is complex, with some great ways to manipulate the images, but we can show you how to use it in less than an hour
In a strange synchronicity an email came across the MGI mailing list today in response to a question about brain atlases. An MGI lister replied that the “gold standard” is the Allen Brain Atlas. But also suggested these other useful places to look if you want that kind of information:
High resolution mouse brain atlas at Harvard: http://www.hms.harvard.edu/research/brain/index.html
Brookhaven National Laboratory C57BL/6J Adult mouse brain: http://www.bnl.gov/ctn/mouse/
ScienceBlogs post: http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2009/03/industrialized_science.php
Wired article and gallery: http://www.wired.com/medtech/health/magazine/17-04/ff_brainatlas