Best Interactive Brain App

While I had hoped to review a few apps to provide a thorough comparison, actually this became a pretty short list!  

There are very few apps out there that deal with brain anatomy which are useful for beginners and are also user-friendly.   Most are apps for brain games and brain training, and while I have one of these that I recommend which I'll put in a separate post, the apps that demonstrate how the brain functions are generally not focused on people just curious about the basics.

The 3D-Brain App from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory however, is the exception to this. Three things I love about this app are:

  1. The simple diagrams that show each distinct area of the brain
  2. The colour-coding of the different structures that make them easily identifiable. 
  3. The 3D effect you get by using your finger to rotate the brain 360 degrees. Stop at any point and view the brain from above and below, side on and front-on to see each hemisphere. This is so useful to get an idea of where the structures fit together and its complexity never ceases to amaze me.
You can view each structure as just the diagram or with labels for each part. If you want a simple text description of the function of that structure, an information box can pop up giving you an overview. It’s only a paragraph or two which is just enough to get the idea without being overloaded.

Case studies are also provided for many structures, giving you an insight into how neuroscientists have researched various conditions and abnormalities which stem from each structure. Many of these are related to injuries which helped scientists understand how the brain works.

As you begin to see the interconnectedness between many brain parts you understand how it is that when something stops working, everyday behaviour is impacted. 
 
For example, when the hippocampus, the structure most closely aligned to memory formation and storage, declines, it leads to cognitive disorders including Alzheimer’s, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The result is often severe memory impairment and disorientation.

For the more research oriented, a list of research reviews are provided with hyperlinks so you can follow up on the studies that interest you.

This is a free app but you can also have an upgraded paid version for $1.49. I have this app on my ipad and iphone and it is only available for IOS devices. Go here for more information

Downloadable Resources