Neuroanatomical Affiliation Visualization-Interface System
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A number of knowledge management systems have been developed to allow users to have access to large quantity of neuroanatomical data. The advent of three-dimensional (3D) visualization techniques allows users to interact with complex 3D object. In order to better understandthe structural and functional organization of the brain, we present Neuroanatomical Affiliations Visualization-Interface System (NAVIS) as the original software to see brain structures and neuroanatomical affiliations in 3D. This version of NAVIS has made use of the fifth edition of “The Rat Brain in Stereotaxic coordinates” (Paxinos and Watson, 2005). The NAVIS development environment was based on the scripting language name Python, using visualization toolkit (VTK) as 3D-library and wxPython for the graphic user interface. The following manuscript is focused on the nucleus of the solitary tract (Sol) and the set of affiliated structures in the brain to illustrate the functionality of NAVIS. The nucleus of the Sol is the primary relay center of visceral and taste information, and consists of 14 distinct subnuclei that differ in cytoarchitecture, chemoarchitecture, connections, and function. In the present study, neuroanatomical projection data of the rat Sol were collected from selected literature in PubMed since 1975. Forty-nine identified projection data of Sol were inserted in NAVIS. The standard XMLformat used as an input for affiliation data allows NAVIS to update data online and/or allows users to manually change or update affiliation data. NAVIS can be extended to nuclei other than Sol.
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