Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Interactive Brains

Neuroanatomy was my favorite class in medical school. I loved tracing out the brain pathways, figuring out which part did what, connecting up clinical syndromes to what I knew about brain structure and the nervous system. I learned all this back in the dark ages, back in the paleontologic age when whales had legs, before comets struck the earth and caused the last ice age. The World Wide Web didn't exist then either. I had to learn this stuff by examining the actual brains of dead people, by looking at stained microscope slides of brains and by pouring over books (the things with pages, covers and ink) rather than web sites.

So now the modern age is here and students get all kinds of cool high tech stuff to learn with. Just out of curiosity I scoured the web and put together a quick and dirty list of some web sites that provide interactive imaging of the human brain. Dang, I wish I had that when I was a med student.

Michigan State Brain Bank

Harvard's Whole Brain Atlas

University of Florida (takes a while to load, Flash-based, no labels)

University of Washington

Wayne State University

University of Utah (This one was my favorite atlas. It shows actual photographs of gross brain anatomy. You can click on the name of the structure and an arrow points to it. No neuroimaging to interpret, just identification of gross structures.)

University of Michigan

Columbia Brain Atlas


Zoe Brain said...


Well, somebody had to say it.

Thanks - I knew about some of these but not others. A professional interest of mine, and also because of the surname.

Anonymous said...

Just curious. What was it that you poured over those books?

ClinkShrink said...

Zoe: I came very very close to saying that. I managed to contain myself.

Anon: Sweat. And a couple cups of coffee.

Anonymous said...

I looked at the Utah site and had a relapse of PTSD medical student symptoms. Ugh.

I, on the other hand, preferred talking to people to chopping up their dead brains.

Remind me again why we're such good friends?

ClinkShrink said...

Why we're friends:

1. We both like chocolate.
2. We both like Max.
3. We agree I have good taste in friends.

Need I say more?

Dinah said...

You indulge me in this blog nonsense, so what can I say.

And as for Roy and his brain and friendship, etc, I'm the type of person who doesn't smash plates over his head when he whispers that I'm "histrionic" during a podcast. (thought I didn't hear that one, huh). I'm also the type of person who retains excellent hearing despite the aging process.

Speaking of which, any one have any thoughts on Brazilian keratin hair straightening?

ClinkShrink said...

There were no plates in the room at the time. Coincidence? I think not.

Don't touch your hair. It's pretty just the curly way it is.

Anonymous said...

"pages, covers and ink"
Web pages or Senatorial playthings, bedsheets or bar fees, and tattoos or octopus goo--I really don't see the connection. What is this book thing you're on about?

These sites remind me of when my UW roommate and I sold ourselves as guinea pigs for 90 min/$300 for an fMRI (an experiment testing if emotionally loaded photos were better remembered than, well, mushrooms). We got "souvenir" shots of our brains; her sagittal view was taken farther off to the side than mine...so I convinced her a much bigger brain. I had to fess up the next day because she was still upset.

Btw Clink, remember to remove the drawstring from your scrubs when podcasting.

Dinah said...

Hair chemicals define me.

Sarebear said...

*Waves at everyone looking my way!*

Er, not that that's my brain they sliced up or anything, just my state. Not that anyone sliced up my state.

ARGH... I'm still all in a fuddle after my comment on the poll post about money, sex, therapeutic relationship, or what was that other thing?

Oh, and Dinah? I've got JUST the plate for you to smash over Roy's head, should you feel so inclined. See here. I ran across it surfing earlier today, in fact, how funny!

Actually, just found another that would also let him know how much you care even as you introduce it to his cranium . . .

April said...

thanks! I'm taking A&P of the brain--these will be handy!

Anonymous said...

Infectous diseases and paleoneurology brain atlases!

*excuse me while I procrastinate for a few hours*

PS Clink you are a total nerd!