Personal tools
You are here: Home Modules Comparative Neuroanatomy

Comparative Neuroanatomy (CNA)

Instructional tool for teaching comparative neuroanatomy (e.g. of hippocampi) requiring only a computer.  This module gives students practice using statistical techniques such as regression analyses, covariance, and ANOVA.  It is available for free and includes a student tutorial.

The coronal brain sections used in this module came from the following sources:

  • Comparative Mammalian Brain Collections (, which was constructed by professors John Irwin Johnson (Michigan State University), Wally Welker (University of Wisconsin), and Adrianne Noe (National Museum of Health and Medicine) with support from the National Science Foundation.  
  • Allen Brain Atlas (, which was founded in 2003 by philanthropist Paul G. Allen, and is dedicated to understanding how the human brain works in health and disease.  

The pedagogical aspects of this module were created by Dr. William Grisham at UCLA.

The tutorial was created by Natalie Schottler.  


Comparative Neuroanatomy Logo Large



Take the Student Pre-Test

If you are a student and are about to begin the Comparative Neuroanatomy module, please take our Pre-Test [NOTE: this will NOT affect your grade].  We are asking you to participate in a study on the efficacy of the teaching module delivered by your instructor.  This study will help us to revise this teaching module to make it more effective and to develop new modules in the future so that they are educationally effective, are easy to understand, and successfully meet student needs.  Not only will your participation help us make better teaching modules, but your participation may also help your understanding of the material (again, this will not figure into your grade).

-->  We ask that you take a short Pre-Test BEFORE the material is presented and also take an identical Post-Test AFTER the module has ended.  These little quizzes will help us gauge your gains from this module.  The quiz can be taken over the web and should take about 10 minutes.  When you take the tests online, please use the SAME, real email address each time, as we will need them for tracking data.

-->  Since we are going to ask you to take the quiz as well as fill out an opinion questionnaire after the unit is completed, we request that you give us your email address so that we can send you one, and ONLY one, reminder email.  We will NOT be sending you any further emails, nor will we submit your email address to any outside sources.  Note: providing you email address is voluntary, as is your participation in this study (see below).

-->  Participation in this study is completely voluntary.  You are not required to participate to receive or use the materials included in this module.

-->  First download the Questions (PDF) then input your answers into the Answer Form (electronic)

  • CNA Pre-Test: Questions (PDF)
  • CNA Pre-Test: Answer Form (Electronic)

Take the Student Post-Test

If you are a student and have completed the Comparative Neuroanatomy module, please provide us with your level of scientific knowledge coming out of the module by taking the following Post-Test.  This form will also allow you to provide us with basic feedback on the materials used in this module.


Download Files

Students and Faculty can download the Comparative Neuroanatomy image database and tutorial for free.

(01)  Download CNA Image Database

In order to access the image database, you must first fill out the User Consent/Download Questionnaire (after which you will be directed to the download button).  Note that you will still be allowed to download the image database even if you choose NOT to consent to anything.

Most of images in this module were derived from the Comparative Mammalian Brain Collections, an online resource created from a collaborative effort by the University of Wisconsin, Michigan State University, and the National Museum of Health and Medicine (NMHM).  The human brain MRI images were derived from the Allen Brain Atlas, an online resource devoted to human brain research, founded by Paul G. Allen.  We compiled a set of coronal brain sections for 65 different species (mammals), and renamed the files so that when sorted by ascending name, they progress rostral to caudal.  The image database is contained in a folder called "Mammals" and is zipped (compressed) here, so be sure to extract the file to access this folder. 

Download the zipped image database now:

(02)  Download CNA Tutorial

Download the Comparative Neuroanatomy tutorial now:

(03)  Download CNA Demographic Information

***Note that this file is already included in the Image Database.***

Download a spreadsheet of demographic information (including section scale, thickness, and interval, and average species body weight) for the Comparative Neuroanatomy now:

(04)  Download the Statistical Analysis Software, JASP

JASP is a simpler and free alternative to SPSS, and R. Bayesian statistics.

Download JASP now:

  • JASP            UPDATED on 2017-05-17 at 10:35am
  • (05)  Download Sample Data

    Download the Comparative Neuroanatomy practice data now:

    (06)  Download Analysis of Slope Differences Tutorial and Templates

    Download the tutorial for analyzing slope differences among order categories (Primates/ Carnivores/ Others).

    Download the spreadsheet templates for calculating the differences.

    (07)  Download Lecture and Lab Slides

    Download presentation slides used to teach the Comparative Neuroanatomy module.  This is typically taught in two weeks, with one lecture and one lab each week:


    For Faculty

    Faculty members interested in accessing faculty-related materials will need to obtain an account.  Please see the Faculty Web Page for more information:

    Faculty members that already have an account may log in and go directly to the Faculty Comparative Neuroanatomy Web Page:

    • Comparative Neuroanatomy - Faculty Module
    which includes:
    1. Instructor Notes
    1. Grading Keys

    If you are a faculty member that has individually completed or taught the Comparative Neuroanatomy Module, please provide us with basic feedback on the materials used in this module by filling out the multiple choice Faculty Materials Evaluation:

    • Faculty Materials Evaluation: Comparative Neuroanatomy




    Need Help?

    • FAQ: Comparative Neuroanatomy
    • contact: (put "Comparative Neuroanatomy Module" in the subject line)


    License Information

    Modular Digital Course in Undergraduate Neuroscience Education—Revised: Gel Scramble by Dr. William Grisham, Ph.D., is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

    Creative Commons License



    Document Actions

    National Science Foundation            UCLA Office of Instructional Development

    Funded by the National Science Foundation and the UCLA Office of Instructional Development