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Project Goals

Nissl stained mouse brain section

Nissl stained mouse brain section

Using multimodal imaging methods on adult mouse brains, this new, high-resolution atlas will form the basis of a useful interchange reference system for the mouse, we call the Mouse Atlasing Project 2.0. The specific goals of this project are: 1) to produce a multi-modal, high-resolution neuroanatomical and white matter connectivity atlas of the mouse central nervous system; 2) to spatially align all MR imaging data, histological sections, and tractography results into the spaces of known mouse anatomical frameworks such as the Paxinos, Swanson, ABA, Waxholm, and GENSAT transcriptome atlases; 3) to extend development of intuitive and integrative software tools to assist the dissemination, understanding, and interpretation of the vast amounts of imaging data and resulting connectivity information to be produced under this project. The resulting validated, multimodality, multidimensional mouse atlas will be made openly available online and have immense value for studying normal, mutant, healthy and diseased animals in a wide range of neuroscientific investigations. Importantly, the MAP2.0 project will serve as a valuable interchange atlas, enabling users to move between the aforementioned atlas spaces with ease to take advantage of their unique forms of information. This new, high-resolution, multi-modal atlas will enable researchers to make fundamental advances simply through the validation, evaluation, and exploration of the brain – these include: a) provide the foundation for determining the relationship between morphology, connectivity, and gene expression; b) clarify whether cellular anatomy and white matter tracts from histological delineations accurately represent MR-assessed morphology and tractography; and c) how methods for determining these tracts might be further refined and enhanced.