IoP Neuroscientists develop new 'Brain' App

Image taken from the 'Brain' Study Room

A team of neuroscientists from the Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) at King’s College London have developed a digital atlas of the human brain for iPad. The ‘Brain’ App is the first of its kind, and is based on cutting edge neuro-imaging research from the NatBrainLab at the IoP. 

Dr. Marco Catani, Head of the NatBrainLab who led the development of the with Dr. Flavio Dell’Acqua and Dr. Michel Thiebaut de Schotten, said: “For 10 years our lab has pioneered the use of highly advanced neuro-imaging techniques. This is the first time that imaging methods usually only applied to research have been used in an educational App. It’s very exciting to see our work transformed into such an accessible, fun and beautiful tool.”

Image taken from the 'Brain' Dissection Room

Two types of scans were used to develop the content of ‘Brain’ – results from an MRI scan reveal the structural properties of the brain, and images from a Diffusion Tractography scan allow the user to identify connections in the brain. 

The App is split into two virtual rooms. The Dissection Room allows the user to play with a 3D , select individual structures and ‘pull’ them apart to visualize their anatomical features. The Study Room then offers a more thorough explanation of functional aspects and their relationship to neurological and psychiatric disorders. 

Dr. Catani adds: “The interactive nature of our App really allows you to explore the depths of the neural network and appreciate the complexity of the human brain. Because the content is based directly on research, the finished product is an accurate reflection of the real thing.”

Dr. Catani and his team are now working towards developing the next version of the App. By integrating scans from several different brains into the programme, they hope to be able to offer the user the chance to see directly how the brain develops from childhood to old age and the direct effect of different age-related disorders on the brain.

The App is currently being used by Dr. Catani and his colleagues to teach MSc students neuroscience.

More information: Marco Catani and Michel Thiebaut de Schotten are also due to publish the ‘Atlas of Human Brain Connections’ in May 2012, for more information, please visit the Oxford University Press website

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Brain cells created from patients' skin cells

Feb 07, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- Cambridge scientists have, for the first time, created cerebral cortex cells – those that make up the brain’s grey matter – from a small sample of human skin.  The researchers’ ...

Brain scan reveals how our brain processes jokes

Jun 30, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- A new Medical Research Council (MRC) study which has uncovered how our brain responds to jokes, could help to determine whether patients in a vegetative state can experience positive emotions.

Chemistry in schools comes alive through smartphones

Jan 31, 2012

In the modern classroom, mobile phones can be the bane of teachers’ lives. An interactive poster produced by Cambridge to promote chemistry in schools is attempting to reverse this, by harnessing smartphone ...

Recommended for you

Neurons in human skin perform advanced calculations

13 hours ago

Neurons in human skin perform advanced calculations, previously believed that only the brain could perform. This is according to a study from Umeå University in Sweden published in the journal Nature Ne ...

Memory in silent neurons

Aug 31, 2014

When we learn, we associate a sensory experience either with other stimuli or with a certain type of behavior. The neurons in the cerebral cortex that transmit the information modify the synaptic connections ...

Why your favourite song takes you down memory lane

Aug 28, 2014

Music triggers different functions of the brain, which helps explain why listening to a song you like might be enjoyable but a favourite song may plunge you into nostalgia, scientists said on Thursday.

User comments