A new 3D brain analysis has been created to a size/resolution of 20 microns.

- the entire brain has been mapped to this resolution.  (called BigBrain)

Article in Huffington post

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From Science Magazine.  (AAAS.org)

BigBrain: An Ultrahigh-Resolution 3D Human Brain Model

    Katrin Amunts1,2,3,4,*,
    Claude Lepage5,
    Louis Borgeat6,
    Hartmut Mohlberg1,2,
    Timo Dickscheid1,2,
    Marc-Étienne Rousseau5,
    Sebastian Bludau1,2,
    Pierre-Louis Bazin7,
    Lindsay B. Lewis5,
    Ana-Maria Oros-Peusquens1,2,
    Nadim J. Shah1,2,
    Thomas Lippert8,
    Karl Zilles1,2,3,4,
    Alan C. Evans5
Science 21 June 2013:

Reference brains are indispensable tools in human brain mapping, enabling integration of multimodal data into an anatomically realistic standard space. Available reference brains, however, are restricted to the macroscopic scale and do not provide information on the functionally important microscopic dimension. We created an ultrahigh-resolution three-dimensional (3D) model of a human brain at nearly cellular resolution of 20 micrometers, based on the reconstruction of 7404 histological sections. “BigBrain” is a free, publicly available tool that provides considerable neuroanatomical insight into the human brain, thereby allowing the extraction of microscopic data for modeling and simulation. BigBrain enables testing of hypotheses on optimal path lengths between interconnected cortical regions or on spatial organization of genetic patterning, redefining the traditional neuroanatomy maps such as those of Brodmann and von Economo.

Science Editor Summary

Reconstructing the Human Brain

Reference brains have become a standard tool in human brain research. Reference brains presently in the public domain provide a spatial framework at the macroscopic level. Amunts et al. (p. 1472) present a high-resolution (20 µm) three-dimensional reconstruction of a human brain. The tool will be freely available to help with interpreting functional neuroimaging studies, fiber tract analyses, and assigning molecular and gene expression data.

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what's a micron ?

BigBrain resolution is ~20 microns.

the soma of a neuron can vary from 4 to 100 micrometers in diameter


1 micron = 10 000 angstroms
The visible-light spectrum extends from approximately 7700 angstroms (red light) to 3900 angstroms (violet light)

20 microns = 26 wavelengths of red light

1 μm = 1 micrometer = 1 micron
1 μm = 1 000 nm
1 μm = 3.937007874 × 10-5 in
1 in = 25400 microns
1 micron = 0.001 millimeter

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