'Glass Brain' Visualisation Lets You Fly Right Into Your Thoughts

Ever wanted to take a flight through your brain?

A new 'Glass Brain' 3D visualisation technique has found a way to let users explore a realtime image of their brain activity.

The project - a collaboration between the Neuroscape Lab at the University of California and the Swartz Centre for Computational Neuroscience - literally maps your brain into a 3D model, which you can explore with a game controller.

It uses a customised EEG cap to detect the different areas of your brain which are working at any one time, and then combine that with data from an MRI scan to make sure it accurately reflects your particular noggin.

By assigning different colours to different types of signals, the result is a stunning visual representation of the brain at work.

"This is an anatomically-realistic 3D brain visualization depicting real-time source-localized activity (power and “effective” connectivity) from EEG (electroencephalographic) signals. Each color represents source power and connectivity in a different frequency band (theta, alpha, beta, gamma) and the golden lines are white matter anatomical fiber tracts. Estimated information transfer between brain regions is visualized as pulses of light flowing along the fiber tracts connecting the regions."

In an interview with Wired, Adam Gazzaley at the Neuroscape Lab said that the main aim of the project was to entertain and inspire, rather than make it easier to work with data.

"It's fun for an entertainment piece, but it's full of artefacts. It's a beautiful rendition but it doesn't go further than that," he said.