Exploring anywhere, it helps to have a map. The brain is no different, so scientists have developed a computerized neural atlas that will centralize information about the brain’s structure and function.

“It is vital to have improved methods for analyzing and visualizing the torrent of information that is becoming available from neurobiologists so that we can better understand the brain in health and disease,” says David Van Essen, head of the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

“Just as maps of the Earth locate continents, mountain ranges and nations, our cortical maps show the locations of the brain’s structural and functional subdivisions,” says Van Essen. “They are the most accurate and comprehensive maps available for humans, macaque monkeys and mice.”