Universiteit Leiden

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Thursday 21 April 2022
via Zoom

The Human Brain Atlas: mapping to study brain function

Starting from Brodmann’s idea of structural-functional relationships at the level of cortical areas, human brain studies benefit from detailed anatomical atlases. However, brain mapping is a dynamically developing field, and Brodmann’s map, which is a schematic view of an individual hemisphere, does not fulfill the requirements for a modern microstructural reference. The large size of the human brain with its billions of nerve cells, forming complex networks, implies to collect and analyze large amounts of data at microscopical level. Such data vary, to a different degree, between brains, i.e. show intersubject variability. To integrate the different aspects of brain anatomy such as cytoarchitecture, connectivity, molecular and genetic maps into a common spatial reference system, and to investigate their role for cognitive functions and behaviour, a multimodal human brain atlas is mandatory. Julich-Brain is a cytoarchitectonic, probabilistic atlas of cortical and subcortical areas, that serves as a microstructural reference for the multilevel atlas of the Human Brain Project. It provides a freely available recourse and toolkit (https://www.humanbrainproject.eu/en/explore-the-brain/ ) to better understand brain organisation, and to make new discoveries.

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