It is our purpose in this electronic document to describe the contents of our Comparative Mammalian Brain Collections and to enable viewers to see examples of images and information about each of the specimens that have been sectioned, stained and mounted on slides. By browsing these electronic archives, viewers can see photos of brains that show what the brains of different mammals look like, find a list of all specimens, as well as view an array of serial sections from a few interesting animal brains.

Please bear with us as we assemble these pages. We want the images and ideas to excite your curiosity. If you have suggestions or special requests, or wish to see certain images that aren't here, please write us a note at: johnij@aol.com

In these electronic pages, we hope to clarify for viewers the importance of studying comparative brain anatomy, with particular emphasis given to what can be learned about brain functions as well as brain evolution from comparative studies of neuroanatomy. To illustrate what we mean, viewers will see sections through the same parts of the brain in a variety of different mammals, each of which has a different set of specialized behavioral repertoires and ecological adaptations. We believe that by carefully studying specific neuroanatomical differences which can be seen in different brains, that the curious student will begin to understand how similar brain circuits, differently connected and arranged in different animals, can be expressed as different behaviors and sensory capabilities which cause each species to choose those habitats that it does.

It is our hope that the information which we provide in th is format will inspire students, scholars and researchers to browse these electronic archives with heightened curiosity about the brain. We wish to enable viewers to better understand how different brains are designed and hard-wired so as to result in the behavioral and ecological differences that are so obvious to casual observation.

In various sections of this electronic document we provide a list of available specimens that have been sectioned, stained and mounted on glass slides. From this list, viewers can link directly to information (and images) about any specimen to learn about each animal, as well as see examples of stained sections showing internal architecture of the brain.

Readers will discover why these brain collections were prepared, review the history of their development, find out methods used to prepare the specimens, as well as who prepared the collections. Viewers will also find a list of past users and contributors to the collections, along with a bibliography of studies carried out using these collections.

Interested students and scholars can find out where the brain collections are currently located and how to access and use them. The eventual transfer of these collec tions to the National Museum of Health and Medicine will be described.

We hope that these presentations will enable browsers to develop an interest in brain study, see what brains of different mammals look like (both externally and when sectioned and stained) and want to visit the brain collections in Madison, East Lansing, and Washington DC to carry out in-depth neuroanatomi cal research.

We can provide images on request. From the Feedback page viewers can request and receive images of special interest to them. Thus, for example, a viewer who requests a cell-stained section through a particular location in the visual system, will be able to view and download such an image.

We also hope that our electronic publication will be a first step in the development of an International Directory of Brain Collections which will provide broad access worldwide for comparative neuroanatomical study of the nervous system.

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