VBS - Virtual Brain Segmenter

The University of Southern California’s Laboratory of Neuro Imaging (LONI) is dedicated to the development of scientific approaches for the comprehensive mapping of brain structure and function. RareFaction Interactive collaborated with LONI on research to improve efficiency in the processing and archiving of MRI brain scans.

Like much of the neuroimaging community, LONI utilizes FreeSurfer: a software package used in the creation of computerized 3D models of the brain derived from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). While the software is powerful, FreeSurfer’s generated computerized models are not error-free. Manual intervention is required to analyze and “clean-up” the generated 3D model. Previously, this intervention required a human to look at one cross section of the brain at a time through a Paint / Photoshop like interface, removing erroneous pixels from a series of 2D images.

Through iterative user interface and user experience R&D, RareFaction moved this data and process into Virtual Reality, under a hypothesis that this 3D problem is best tackled within a 3D workspace. Now, researchers may view multiple cross sections of the brain at once which may make the process faster, easier, more fun, and induce less mental fatigue over time. The project’s early results have been promising; our research continues to undergo user experience testing at USC.