Brain viewsThe Albany Medical College Virtual Brain Model is a unique electronic library of human brain anatomy designed to improve teaching and learning of the spatial relationships of 79 key structures and functional pathways in the nervous system.  These easy-to-use pre-built or user-defined virtual models can be manipulated freely in 360-degree rotation on a PC computer with or without corresponding grey-scale MRIs in 3 standard planes.  Options include up to 100x zoom, custom color and opacity for each structure.  3D models can be saved for later use or screen-captured for slide presentation or printing. 

The database files were created by manually demarcating and colorizing the selected structures on 2D, high-resolution, grey-scale MRI sections from a normal adult subject, then annotating and rendering them in 3D using ITK-SNAP.  ITK-SNAP is an open source software application used to segment structures in 3D medical images, developed for the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s Visible Human Project.  ITK-SNAP is one of many applications built on top of the Insight Segmentation and Registration Toolkit (ITK).  For more information, go to and

ScreencapsTo improve the navigation experience with the Albany Medical College Virtual Brain Model, a user-only version of the software, without the rendering capability, was created by editing the program in Visual C++ Express.  The software, image database, and instructions together constitute a file size of less than 150Mb.

While the segmentation, registration, and rendering software used to create the Albany Medical College Virtual Brain Model is open-source, the image database and instructions are not open-source.  However, the Albany Medical College Virtual Brain Model is being made available as a public service by Albany Medical College for educational, non-commercial use, at no charge.  See License