Image showing a human brain with different brain areas highlighted in different colors

Multilevel brain atlases provide tools for better diagnosis

The multilevel Julich Brain Atlas developed by researchers in the Human Brain Project, could help in studying psychiatric and aging disorders by correlating brain networks with their underlying anatomical structure. By mapping microarchitecture with unprecedented levels of detail, the atlas allows for better understanding of brain connectivity and function. Researchers of the HBP have provided an overview of the Julich Brain Atlas in the journal Biological Psychiatry. The paper focuses on the cytoarchitecture and receptor architecture of the human brain, and how to apply the atlas in the field of psychiatric research.

Fibre architecture of the human hippocampus. Detail of a human brain section showing the architecture of fibres down to single axons in the hippocampus, revealed by 3D Polarized Light Imaging. Colours represent 3D fibre orientations highlighting pathways of individual fibres and tracts.
Press Release

A combination of micro and macro methods sheds new light on how different brain regions are connected

To understand how our brain works, there is no getting around investigating how different brain regions are connected with each other by nerve fibres. In the most recent issue of Science, researchers of the Human Brain Project (HBP) review the current state of the field, provide insights on how the brain’s connectome is structured on different spatial scales – from the molecular and cellular to the macro level – and evaluate existing methods and future requirements for understanding the connectome’s complex organisation.

HBP Scientific Director Katrin Amunts and EC Director-General Roberto Viola during the event at the European Commission. Copyright: Human Brain Project

HBP image of human brain network exhibited at offices of European Commission

On 12 October, HBP Scientific Director Katrin Amunts and Tommaso Calarco, chair of the Quantum Community Network of the Quantum Flagship, presented two special pieces from Forschungszentrum Jülich to the European Commission in Brussels: an enlarged image of human brain fibres and a true-to-scale replica of the quantum computer "OpenSuperQ".

Brain connectivity challenges even supercomputing. Nerve fibres of the human visual cortex visualized by Polarized Light Imaging (left, Photo: Markus Axer) and Germany's fastest supercomputer JUWELS at Forschungszentrum Jülich. (right, Photo: Forschungszentrum Jülich/Sascha Kreklau).
Event Report

BrainComp 2022: Experts in neuroscience and computing discuss the digital transformation of neuroscience and benefits of collaborating

A new field of science has been emerging at the intersection of neuroscience and high-performance computing - this is the takeaway from the 2022 BrainComp conference, which took place in Cetraro, Italy from the 19th to the 22nd of September. The meeting, which featured international experts in brain mapping, machine learning, simulation, research infrastructures, neuro-derived hardware, neuroethics and more, strengthened the current collaborations in this emerging field and forged new ones.

BrainComp Workshop logo

BrainComp2022 - Computational Challenges of Connectivity

Together, Neuroscience and Computing are driving forces for research and innovation. They enable new insights into the brain‘s complexity as well as biological information processing and lay ground for progress in Future Computing. Making use of this collaborative effort by bringing together relevant key players in the field of Neuroscience and Future Computing, the workshop on Brain-Inspired Computing (BrainComp) aims to shed a light on the digital transformation of Neuroscience by High Performance Computing (HPC).

HIBALL Brain Depiction

Katrin Amunts and Alan Evans present their work to German government during Canada visit

In August 2022, Katrin Amunts from Forschungszentrum Jülich and Alan Evans from McGill University in Canada presented AI applications in brain mapping to German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck and a delegation of high-ranking industry representatives during their visit of the Institut québécois d'intelligence artificielle (Mila) in Montreal.

Probability maps of the four newly identified areas SFS1, SFS2, MFG1 and MFG2. Figure adapted from Bruno et al. 2022 (CC BY 4.0).
Paper Digest

Four new brain areas involved in various cognitive processes mapped

Researchers of the Human Brain Project (HBP) have mapped four new areas of the human anterior prefrontal cortex that plays a major role in cognitive functions. Two of the newly identified areas are relatively larger in females than in males.

Portrait picture of Nataliia Fedorchenko

„Leave of absence“

Behind these three words in the CV of brain researcher Nataliia Fedorchenko lie war and flight, and the hope that she will be able to use her knowledge, which she is now contributing to the Human Brain Project at the Forschungszentrum Jülich, to help rebuild Ukraine.

Maximum probability map of seven newly discovered areas of the human insula. Figure from Quabs et al 2022 (CC 4.0).

Seven new areas in the human insular cortex mapped for the first time

A team of researchers from the C. and O. Vogt Institute for Brain Research at the University of Düsseldorf and the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1) at Forschungszentrum Jülich have identified seven new areas of the human insular cortex, a region of the brain that is involved in a wide variety of functions, including self-awareness, cognition, motor control, sensory and emotional processing. All newly detected areas are now available as 3D probability maps in the Julich Brain Atlas, and can be openly accessed via the Human Brain Project’s EBRAINS infrastructure. Their findings, published in NeuroImage, provide new insights into the structural organisation of this complex and multifunctional region of the human neocortex.