The Julich Brain Atlas
From tiny molecules to the approximately 86 billion nerve cells and trillions of contact points to widely ramified networks - numerous levels constantly interact in a harmonic orchestra. This all happens within milliseconds to a whole lifetime. The greatest challenge in understanding the brain is therefore bridging the different levels and finding out their interdependencies. Another challenge lies in the inter-individual variability of the brain - the surface of each brain is like a fingerprint.
To address this challenge, the Julich Brain Atlas provides the conceptual and technological basis: A 3D reference brain in which various neuroscientific data from the different levels can be systematically integrated and analysed - a kind of Google Earth for the brain. Zooming out, you can see the borders of countries, or the borders of brain areas. Zooming in, you can see cities, or the bodies of nerve cells, and streets, or the connections between nerve cells. Our brain is far too complex for us to investigate it all by ourselves. The Julich Brain Atlas is a powerful tool made available to the scientific community to collaboratively decode the human brain.