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Peer Review

The Whole Brain Atlas



Overall Numeric Rating:

4.25 stars
Content Quality: 4.25 stars
Effectiveness: 3.75 stars
Ease of Use: 4.25 starsstar
Reviewed: Dec 17, 2012 by Biology Editorial Board
Overview: This is a collection of images of brain tissue sections using roentgen-ray computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and single photon/positron emission computed tomography. The sections are normal and diseased; the sections are sagittal, horizontal and coronal. This is interactive. You use a slider to travel up and down the brain order to get the section you want.
Type of Material: Primarily a collection of images, but there are some tutorial features and case studies.
Recommended Uses: This is best used as an in class demonstration, for individual study, or as review material.
Technical Requirements: IE8, Java Script, Quicktime
Identify Major Learning Goals: The user should get an appreciation of the appearance normal and diseased brains as viewed by different imaging methods and sections.
Target Student Population: This is geared toward Neuroanatomists and Neuologists. I do not think it is appropriate for undergraduate classes. It is more suitable for graduate students, medical students and professionals.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Neuroanatomy

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.25 stars
  • High quality images from actual patients.
  • The 3D MRI/PET imager is great for students to view labeled images of the brain.
  • Actual case study descriptions of each patients symptoms and diagnosis.
  • Concerns:
  • Structures are small and blurred.

  • Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

    Rating: 3.75 stars
  • High quality images coupled with detailed explanations of what is visible in each image make this a potentially effective teaching tool.
  • The combination of images from normal and diseased individuals makes for useful comparisons and contrasts.
  • The 3D MRI/PET imager is great for students to view labeled images of the brain.
  • Concerns:
  • Instructors would have to create assignments based on the materials.
  • The structues are small and hazy. It is difficult to see differences between normal and abnormal.

  • Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

    Rating: 4.25 stars
  • Well organized on a single page with links to return to the home page on each daughter page.
  • Topics are ordered by disease type.
  • Easy to use.
  • Concerns:
  • Some links on subsequent pages are buried in the text and it isn't always obvious the most effective way to follow through the tour.

  • Other Issues and Comments: It is easy to see why this site has won numerous awards. There is a lot of information in it , it is colorful and interactive. A lot of work was put into it. My biggest issue with it was seeing structures. They were small and blurred. I think that's because of the imaging techniques used rather than poor photography, but still, if you're not used to lookiing at those types of images, it can be frustrating.