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Elsevier's BrainNavigator research tool to launch new features at Neuroscience 2009 show

New neuroscience research tool, developed in collaboration with the Allen Institute for Brain Science and used by the National Institutes of Health, will be showcased October 18-21 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois

Burlington, MA, 16 October 2009 Elsevier, the leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information and solutions, announced today that it will showcase the new features it is rolling out for its BrainNavigator research tool at the Society for Neuroscience conference, Neuroscience 2009, in Chicago, the world's largest forum for neuroscientists.

Recently adopted by the NIH (National Institutes of Health), BrainNavigator is an online, interactive, 3D software tool that maps images of brain anatomy, helping neuroscience researchers to save time and improve the quality of their daily research. BrainNavigator helps locate the position of structures within the brain, similar to a GPS system, making visualization and communication about scientific findings about the brain easier. After unveiling the prototype version at the Society for Neuroscience's Neuroscience 2008 tradeshow last November, the version including mouse and rat brains is now available at

BrainNavigator was developed in collaboration with the Allen Institute for Brain Science and under the editorship of Professor George Paxinos, Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, Sydney and Charles Watson, Professor of Health Sciences, Curtin University, Perth and Senior Professorial Research Fellow Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, Sydney. Offering both free and subscription-based content, it is used by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other research institutions, which need an easy-to-use online system that allows them to browse, compare and label high-resolution material as well as to create virtual sections from sophisticated 3D models of the brain. Users can also annotate atlas drawings and share their annotations with colleagues, which helps them work more productively, and collaborate on new findings.

New features include:

  • The ability to export and print 2D and 3D images. Now, users will be able to print and save images together with annotations in 2D, or any virtual slice created in the 3D application, to a graphic file. Graphics can be used in any standard program, such as Word or PowerPointespecially useful for enhancing grant proposals and research papers or conference submissions.

  • "Injection Planner" a feature that allows users to select a point for injection of an electrode or pharmacological substances via a syringe, and visualize the path for the injection in the 3D model of the brain. This will show all of the structures that will be affected by the procedure, and simulate the size of the injected substance in the brain, so any injection or electrophysiological recording can be appropriately planned. By moving the starting point of the path in the 3D the user will be able to plan alternate routes to avoid certain structures. This will save time and also help with understanding how disturbing certain structures may affect their work.

  • An image overlay function which will allow users to place the atlas drawing over the stained image. This is particularly useful for annotation and users can share these precisely positioned annotations with other BrainNavigator users. Also, in the future users will be able to use the overlay feature with their own images uploaded to the workspace.

"We developed the new features and improvements in direct response to the feedback we have received from users in very close collaboration with our development partners," said Johannes Menzel, Publisher Science Solutions and Content Strategy, Elsevier Science & Technology Books. "We will continue to improve BrainNavigator with regular functionality releases, as well as roll out a version for human and primate brains in spring 2010."


Contact: Carol Roden

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