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Brain Atlas of the Common Marmoset, Callithrix jacchus jacchus

Brain atlases are a bit like road atlases, in that they permit identification of specific structures in a section (slice) of brain tissue. This is the first brain atlas for the common marmoset to be made available since a printed atlas by Stephan, Baron and Schwerdtfeger published in 1980 (see full citation below). That atlas was a true stereotaxic atlas, with a coordinate system in millimeters to go with labeled photographs through the brain of an adult male. My experience with that atlas in attempting to locate the cerebral ventricles for implanting cannulae suggests that there is considerable variability in brain size and possibly detailed internal anatomy, rendering a stereotaxic atlas less valuable than it might otherwise be. That publication is also is out of print, hence the need for a new atlas that would be widely available. For the present atlas, an adult female was perfused through the heart with PBS followed by 10% formalin. The brain was then sent to Neuroscience Associates of Knoxville, TN, who prepared the brain for histological analysis. The brain was cut in the coronal (frontal) plane at 40 microns, every sixth section stained for Nissl granules with thionine and every seventh section stained for myelinated fibers with the Weil technique. The mounted sections were photographed at the NIH (Medical Arts and Photography Branch). The equipment used was a Nikon Multiphot optical bench with Zeiss Luminar 100 mm lens, and scanned with a Better Light 6100 scan back driven by Better Light Viewfinder 5.3 software. The final images were saved as arrays of 6000x8000 pixels in Adobe Photoshop 6.0. A scale in mm provided with these images permitted construction of the final Nissl atlas files with a horizontal and vertical scale. Some additional re-touching (brightness and contrast) was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0.

The schematic (labeled) atlas plates were created from the Nissl images. Abbreviations designating brain structures were applied using Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0. Additional background touch-up was also performed with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0. The nomenclature came almost exclusively from, where a rhesus monkey brain with structures labeled can be found. The labels for the MRI images were placed by M. R. Zametkin, under supervision from Dr. Newman.


Stephan, H; Baron, G; Schwerdtfeger, WK (1980) The Brain of the Common Marmoset (Callithrix jacchus): A Stereotaxic Atlas. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

Gergen JA; MacLean PD (1962) A Stereotaxic Atlas of the Squirrel Monkey's Brain. Public Health Service Publication No 933. Bethesda, MD: NIH.