Read and write files from the BrainGlobe neuroanatomy suite

Workflow step:
VisualizationImage visualisation
VisualizationImage visualisationOverlay
VisualizationImage visualisationSlice rendering
Image classification
Image registration

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Visualise cellfinder and brainreg results with napari


This package is likely already installed (e.g. with cellfinder, brainreg or another napari plugin), but if you want to install it again, either use the napari plugin install GUI or you can install brainglobe-napari-io via pip:

pip install brainglobe-napari-io


  • Open napari (however you normally do it, but typically just type napari into your terminal, or click on your desktop icon)


Sample space

Drag your brainreg output directory (the one with the log file) onto the napari window.

Various images should then open, including:

  • Registered image - the image used for registration, downsampled to atlas resolution
  • atlas_name - e.g. allen_mouse_25um the atlas labels, warped to your sample brain
  • Boundaries - the boundaries of the atlas regions

If you downsampled additional channels, these will also be loaded.

Most of these images will not be visible by default. Click the little eye icon to toggle visibility.

N.B. If you use a high resolution atlas (such as allen_mouse_10um), then the files can take a little while to load.


Atlas space

napari-brainreg also comes with an additional plugin, for visualising your data in atlas space.

This is typically only used in other software, but you can enable it yourself:

  • Open napari
  • Navigate to Plugins -> Plugin Call Order
  • In the Plugin Sorter window, select napari_get_reader from the select hook... dropdown box
  • Drag brainreg_read_dir_standard_space (the atlas space viewer plugin) above brainreg_read_dir (the normal plugin) to ensure that the atlas space plugin is used preferentially.


Load cellfinder XML file

  • Load your raw data (drag and drop the data directories into napari, one at a time)
  • Drag and drop your cellfinder XML file (e.g. cell_classification.xml) into napari.

Load cellfinder directory

  • Load your raw data (drag and drop the data directories into napari, one at a time)
  • Drag and drop your cellfinder output directory into napari.

The plugin will then load your detected cells (in yellow) and the rejected cell candidates (in blue). If you carried out registration, then these results will be overlaid (similarly to the loading brainreg data, but transformed to the coordinate space of your raw data).

load_data Loading raw data

load_data Loading cellfinder results


Contributions are very welcome. Tests can be run with tox, please ensure the coverage at least stays the same before you submit a pull request.


Distributed under the terms of the MIT license, "brainglobe-napari-io" is free and open source software


If you encounter any problems, please file an issue along with a detailed description.

The BrainGlobe project is generously supported by the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre and the Institute of Neuroscience, Technical University of Munich, with funding from Wellcome, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and the Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology - Synergy.


  • 0.1.5

Last updated:

  • 18 March 2022

First released:

  • 12 March 2021


  • BSD-3-Clause

Supported data:

Open extension:

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GitHub activity:

  • Stars: 4
  • Forks: 3
  • Issues + PRs: 6

Python versions supported:

Operating system:


  • napari
  • napari-plugin-engine (>=0.1.4)
  • napari-ndtiffs
  • tifffile (>=2020.8.13)
  • imlib
  • bg-space
  • bg-atlasapi

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