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A Conceptual Cortical Surface Atlas

Today, the journal PLoS ONE published a paper entitled "A Conceptual Cortical Surface Atlas" that I authored. The paper should be useful to neuro-anatomically-challenged lay people ("dummies") seeking a bird's eye view of cortical surface atlas. The key contribution is encapsulated in Figure S1. You can download the atlas in excel format here.


Volumetric, slice-based, 3-D atlases are invaluable tools for understanding complex cortical convolutions. We present a simple scheme to convert a slice-based atlas to a conceptual surface atlas that is easier to visualize and understand. The key idea is to unfold each slice into a one-dimensional vector, and concatenate a succession of these vectors – while maintaining as much spatial contiguity as possible – into a 2-D matrix. We illustrate our methodology using a coronal slice-based atlas of the Rhesus Monkey cortex. The conceptual surface-based atlases provide a useful complement to slice-based atlases for the purposes of indexing and browsing.

Cortical Surface Atlas





The key idea is to take slices in a stereotaxic atlas (for example, Paxinos G, Huang XF, Petrides M, Toga AW (2009) The Rhesus Monkey Brain in Stereotaxic Coordinates. Elsevier Science & Technology) and then convert each slice into a one-dimensional vector. The 1D vectors are then concatenated together to create a 2D representation.

The process of creating 1D vectors is hown below for Slices 23 and 22, respectively.

Slice 23




















Slice 22


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