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Virtual Brain Model


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 http://www.itk.org and http://www.itksnap.org.

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