Cardinal Project

The Virtual Brain


The Virtual Brain (TVB) is the culmination of the scientific output from the research performed by the members of the Brain NRG.

TVB is an open-source neuroinformatics platform that uses empirical neuroimaging data as the foundation to construct large-scale simulations of the human brain.

Brain function, or moreoever dysfunction, can be studied from a variety of perspectives in both time and space. Much data has been acquired at different spatial and temporal scales, contributing to a growing knowledge of brain function from individual neurons, neural ensembles, or large-scale networks, yet very little is known about the dependencies of one scale on the next. This is particularly salient for noninvasive brain imaging devices commonly used to measure human brain function, as they cannot detect cellular-level information critical to the understanding of health and disease mechanisms.

Here, TVB can act as a “computational microscope” allowing direct inference of core neurobiological mechanisms underlying human brain function in both health and disease.

TVB was first released in 2012 and has continually grown to be a well-utilized tool in the neuroscience community - to date, we have over 17,000 downloads.

Workshops are annually held as a mechanism to expand software usership by equipping users with a level of proficieincy to go forth with TVB within their own research endeavours

An extensive library of journal publications effectively represents the breadth and depth of utility of TVB along with the ongoing validation of this tool for modeling the brain.

Most notabely, TVB has been the foundation for a variety of clinical research investigations, including stroke, epilepsy, neurodegenerative diseases, and brain tumours. In addition to the modeling the human brain, TVB also includes animal versions, namely mouse (based on connectomes from the Allen Institute mouse brain) and macaque.

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