In this grant, we propose to build an electronic human brain atlas with an entirely new concept. The multi- scale electronic atlas will serve as a three-dimensional and visual portal to a large amount of supervised and unsupervised knowledge database. The supervised database will contain neuroscience textbooks and atlases published from Elsevier. Through the visual interface of our electronic atlas, users can identify structures of interest and can access to related histology panels, diagrams, and text information of the structures in the database. This on-demand dissemination of a section of copyright materials could revolutionize the way these academic publications are accessed in the market. The atlas is based on a published atlas book, "MRI Atlas of Human Brain White Matter, 2nd Edition", which was introduced from Elsevier in 2010. This remains as the only atlas in the market which has an extensive gray and white matter 3D parcellation (more than 300 structures) in stereotaxic coordinates. In March, 2012, an iPad App version of this atlas book was introduced, as a collaboration between Elsevier and Dr. Mori's lab in JHU (://itunes.apple.com/us/app/neuroapps-mri-altas- human/id508105278?ls=1&mt=8). We soon realized that the combination of the intuitive interface of iPad and Internet communication has a potential to revolutionize the concept and role of atlases. This new concept is based on four factors: multi-scale, three-dimensional, multi-content, and Cloud support. The new atlas will be multi-scale because it will incorporate MRI-based images with different resolutions. They will be three-dimensional, which ensures images with different resolutions will be registered each other and share the same stereotaxic coordinates. They will integrate information from various published textbooks and atlases and, therefore, it will be multi-content. Because of the large amount of information will be integrated into the atlas, the cloud architecture will be adopted, in which the requested information will be transferred from a centralized server on-demand. To create this atlas with the new concept, we will accomplish the following two aims to test the feasibility in Phase I study;
Aim 1 : To develop a platform for a multi-resolution atlas using MRI/DTI data of the brainstem with 3 different resolution levels at 1,000, 250, and 150 m: The data are already available in Dr. Mori's lab, which is licensed to Anatomy Works. We will co-register all image volumes to the current iPad atlas space and generate multiple high-magnification 2D panels and annotate them. These panels will then be incorporated into the iPad Atlas.
Aim 2 : To test the centralized communication scheme for the multi-content data transfer: Each annotation in the atlas will be linked to the supervised database in Anatomy Works. We will test this function with a textbook, "The Human Brain" and a histology-based atlas, "Atlas of the Human Brainstem", which will be licensed from Elsevier. We will develop and test the communication based on an REST based web service.
We will develop an electronic atlas of the human brain for iPad. This atlas has an intuitive interface to explore human brain structures and each defined structure has a link to a proper section of various textbooks and histology-based atlases, which provides unique research and educational environment.