Brain mapping

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Brain mapping is a set of neuroscience techniques predicated on the mapping of (biological) quantities or properties onto spatial representations of the (human or non-human) brain resulting in maps. All neuroimaging can be considered part of brain mapping. Brain mapping can be conceived as a higher form of neuroimaging, producing brain images supplemented by the result of additional (imaging or non-imaging) data processing or analysis, such as maps projecting (measures of) behaviour onto brain regions (see fMRI). Brain Mapping techniques are constantly evolving, and rely on the development and refinement of image acquisition, representation, analysis, visualization and interpretation techniques. Functional and structural neuroimaging are at the core of the mapping aspect of Brain Mapping.


In the late 1980s in the United States, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science was commissioned to establish a panel to investigate the value of integrating neuroscientific information across a variety of techniques.[1] Of specific interest is using structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), positron emission tomography (PET) and other non-invasive scanning techniques to map anatomy, physiology, perfusion, function and phenotypes of the human brain. Both healthy and diseased brains may be mapped to study memory, learning, aging, and drug effects in various populations such as people with schizophrenia, autism, and clinical depression. This led to the establishment of the Human Brain Project.[2] Following a series of meetings, the International Consortium for Brain Mapping (ICBM) evolved.[3] The ultimate goal is to develop flexible computational brain atlases.

Current atlas tools

  • Talairach Atlas, 1988
  • Harvard Whole Brain Atlas, 1995[4]
  • MNI Template, 1998 (the standard template of SPM and International Consortium for Brain Mapping)

See also

National Centers for Biomedical Computing (NCBC)

External links


  1. Pechura and Martin, 1991
  2. Huerta et al., 1993
  3. Mazziotta and Toga, 1995
  4. [1] Harvard Whole Brain Atlas

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