I wanted to share with you a picture of a recent prototype I put together of brain visualization using a third-party library called MindSeer. MindSeer comes from the folks in the Structural Informatics Group at the University of Washington. It takes a collection of geometry files and MRI data and constructs a Java 3D scene graph of the brain structure. The library itself is fairly extensive and has all sorts of neat features: it lets you color different component overlays (e.g. colors the cortex, veins, and arteries) differently and also allows for "cutaways" so you can see inside the brain.
A special thanks goes out to Eider Moore of the SIG group at Washington who patiently answered my questions about MindSeer!
To make this happen, all I did was create a new type of cell in Wonderland that, given a list of URLs of the 3D cortex, artery, and vein data, renders the brain in the world using the MindSeer library. Anyone with this new cell type installed on their Wonderland installation and some sample brain data can then incorporate this into their worlds! (Btw — for Wonderland v0.5, I’m working on a module system so that everyone can package their code and art and share it with others).
This is part of a larger effort on my part to create a "Science Playground" in Wonderland — my goal is not only to put together a neat space, but also to exercise and stress Wonderland in different ways. I’m hoping this space will have examples from all different areas of Science: physics, chemistry, medicine, astronomy, and earth science. Having third-party libraries out there that are written entirely in Java and open-source make my life much, much easier!
The following is a visualization of MindSeer’s P117 sample data: