Toward a workbench for rodent brain image data: systems architecture and design

Neuroinformatics. 2007 Spring;5(1):35-58. doi: 10.1385/ni:5:1:35.


We present a novel system for storing and manipulating microscopic images from sections through the brain and higher-level data extracted from such images. The system is designed and built on a three-tier paradigm and provides the research community with a web-based interface for facile use in neuroscience research. The Oracle relational database management system provides the ability to store a variety of objects relevant to the images and provides the framework for complex querying of data stored in the system. Further, the suite of applications intimately tied into the infrastructure in the application layer provide the user the ability not only to query and visualize the data, but also to perform analysis operations based on the tools embedded into the system. The presentation layer uses extant protocols of the modern web browser and this provides ease of use of the system. The present release, named Functional Anatomy of the Cerebro-Cerebellar System (FACCS), available through The Rodent Brain Workbench (http://, is targeted at the functional anatomy of the cerebro-cerebellar system in rats, and holds axonal tracing data from these projections. The system is extensible to other circuits and projections and to other categories of image data and provides a unique environment for analysis of rodent brain maps in the context of anatomical data. The FACCS application assumes standard animal brain atlas models and can be extended to future models. The system is available both for interactive use from a remote web-browser client as well as for download to a local server machine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Brain* / anatomy & histology
  • Brain* / physiology
  • Database Management Systems
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Information Storage and Retrieval*
  • Rodentia
  • Software Design
  • Software*