Volumes of Interest
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This web-site contains volumes representing brain regions. You can browse them from the alphabetic index.

The volumes are established by probability density estimates of locations from the BrainMap database. The locations have been symmetrized and converted by Matthew Brett's nonlinear transformation to get from Talairach-space to approximately the MNI-space.

Original data: From BrainMap

The basis for the volume are the data recorded in the "original" BrainMap database. This is not our database but a database setup by Peter T. Fox and Jack L. Lancaster at the Research Imaging Center, San Antonio Texas. So if you use the volumes in a scientific publication please cite their work with one of their references listed below.

The "original" BrainMap database is no longer available but a new BrainMap database by the same group is accessible from http://brainmap.org/. (The volumes are not constructed from information in this database)

The information used from the original BrainMap database are the 3-dimensional Talairach coordinates as well as the 'lobar anatomy' field for each coordinate.

Method: Kernel density modeling of Talairach coordinates

For each sub-phrase in the 'lobar anatomy' field all Talairach coordinates are found that have the sub-phrase in the field. Each set of coordinates is then modeled with a kernel density modeling to construct a probability density conditioned on the sub-phrase. The method is described a bit more in the Modeling of activation data in the BrainMapTM database article below.

The coordinates have be copied between the right and left hemisphere to make the volume symmetric. The coordinates have also been converted from Talairach space to (approximately) MNI-space with Matthew Brett's transformation.

The individual steps in the procedure are implemented in the Brede Toolbox. It is programed in Matlab and available for download.

Warning: Approximative volumes

Since the volumes are based on annotation of Talairach coordinates, that represents brain activation hot spots reported in the scientific literature, the volumes are inherently coarse approximations to the "real" brain regions. You should not take the volumes to define precise borders of anatomical regions. They are simply regions were other researchers did (with a certain probability) mark it with a specific neuroanatomical label. They are not constructed by a neuroanatomist carefully delineating the brain regions.

If you want more precisely delineated volumes you might want to look into the AAL or the Talairach Daemon atlases. The WFU Pickatlas Matlab program has features to work with these atlases.

Also there exist probabilistic atlases by Alexander Hammers and Claus Svarer. Claus Svarer has a program that allows for the probabilistic atlas to be fitted to MRs from individual subjects, see pvelab.


If you use the data in a scientific work you might cite it as: The database is primarily using data from the BrainMap database from Research Imaging Center, San Antonio, Texas. You should reference it, e.g., by The above reference is just a short article. The original BrainMap database is described in depth in the following book chapter: The pages are constructed with the Brede Toolbox programed in Matlab. It can be referenced as The kernel density estimation is described a bit more in the following article:
Jerne > Neuroinformatics > Volumes of interest
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