# the BigBrain
a freely accessible, microscopic resolution 3D model of the human brain.
Neuroimaging methods rely on accurate brain models as ground truth to develop reliable approaches for probing the brain. Currently existing computer-based 3D neuroimaging tools cannot reproduce the anatomical details available from freshly cut brains, particularly for very convoluted cortical regions and in the subcortical areas. With the advent of the BigBrain - a human brain that has been sectioned post-mortem, stained with a marker for cell bodies and scanned at very high resolution, then reconstructed in 3D - (Amunts et al., 2013), we believe that there will be improvement in the precision and quality of neuroimaging support for qualitative and quantitative investigation of the brain.
Our goal is to create an open-source, web-based, federated, high-resolution reference brain atlas and mapping tool as a neuroinformatics platform and neuroscience resource for research, training, education and outreach. We hope to build a pluridisciplinary community around this platform, with users and contributors from multiple and diverse fields of study exchanging information (methods, data, results) and sharing experiences online (real-time online collaboration). This open science platform will facilitate exchange and dissemination of research that make use of the BigBrain dataset alone or in combination with biological samples (omics data), high resolution postmortem (sMRI, photon microscopy, polarised light imaging), and *in vivo* imaging data (functional and metabolic from MRI, MRS, PET, EEG/MEG, etc). The platform is developed in close interaction with the European „Human Brain Project“, and tightly integrated with their web services.
the initial BigBrain publication
Amunts, K., Lepage, C., Borgeat, L., Mohlberg, H., Dickscheid, T., Rousseau, M.-É., Bludau, S., Bazin, P.-L., Lewis, L. B., Oros-Peusquens, A.-M., Shah, N. J., Lippert, T., Zilles, K. & Evans, A. C. (2013). BigBrain: An Ultrahigh-Resolution 3D Human Brain Model. Science, 340, 1472--1475. doi: 10.1126/science.1235381