Brain and Head Layers
One of the components of my graduate research is to explore neuroimaging data. In our research, we need to keep track of the different head layers as part of a specific technique we use called “source imaging.” Source imaging is simply a mathematical tool that allows us to estimate which areas on the surface of the brain are active from data that was recorded outside the head (with EEG, for example). To use source imaging, we often collect MRI scans of people's heads in order to have a high resolution model of their different head layers (i.e., scalp, skull, and brain). With this model, we can calculate how electrical brain activity propagates through the different layers to our sensors. One day at lab, I stumbled across a one-liner command that allowed me to convert those MRI models into .stl files that could be easily loaded in 3D modeling software (like Blender). In other words, I could trivially load an MRI scan (containing extremely high resolution 3D model of my head and brain) into my 3D modeling software. That was too cool to pass up, so I loaded all the tissue layers and created a progressive cutout to illustrate how the head layers are modeled in source imaging.
Update: This image was part of Figure 2 in my 2016 paper and was selected for the cover of the Journal of Neural Engineering's October 2016 issue.