Friday, 12 August 2016

Brain colours

A bunch of new colour scales for brain imaging

In brain imaging, we do lots of pictures - and in colour. One problem is that we all use different colour scales, and another problem is that the scales we choose are kind of random.

Choosing colour scales.

Lucky for us, the choice has been worked out by someone else. Christen et al. published a paper in 2013 looking at exactly this and they made some recommendations.

Here they are.

I simply followed these recommendations, and use cubehelix. This schema for generating colours has the advantage of having intensity increase at the same time as changing colours.

You can get the Matlab function to generate maps here.
You can download maps as csv files here.


Christen et al. (2013) Colorful brains: 14 years of display practice in functional neuroimaging, NeuroImage, 73, 30-39,

Green, D. A., 2011, `A colour scheme for the display of astronomical intensity images', Bulletin of the Astronomical Society of India, 39, 289.
(2011BASI...39..289G at ADS.)