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January 01, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 1)

Columbia Brain Atlas

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How do you describe a site that uses the brain as an object to uncover more information? That’s just what the Columbia Brain Atlas provides, and judging by what I saw, there is a whole heap of self-reference going on. What the site provides is a huge collection of postmortem human brain autoradiographic receptor studies for comparison with lower resolution images from living patients. The aim is to identify human brain receptors involved in psychiatric and neurological disorders. I’m not a brain surgeon or even a brainy person so I’m not qualified to evaluate the images but I will say that I’m struck by their use of color and by the varied perspectives and technologies employed in making them. I can’t imagine these won’t be of significant use.
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