If any bit of the scene is clicked on in the rendering area the information in the hierarchical list will update with the values at the selected location. You might have to scroll to the right in the hierarchical list to see it. Also note that the hierarchical list can be detached from the main window by selecting and dragging it (where it says "Resources") away from the main window. It can be redocked later through the same process.
In order to install brain-view on Mac OSX mountain lion you will need to take the following steps. The installation on a Linux-based OS such as ubuntu will follow similar steps but probably with less headache!
0. Install Xcode (This step is only required for Mac OSX which doesn't have a C/C++ compiler pre-installed on it)
Install Xcode 4.4.1 from apple store: https://developer.apple.com/xcode/ . This contains gcc and llvm compilers + the IDE.
Install command tools from inside Xcode session.
1. Install HDF5
The latest supported public release of HDF5 is available from ftp://ftp.hdfgroup.org/HDF5/current/src.
$ tar zxf hdf5-X.Y.Z.tar.gz
$ ./configure --prefix=/usr/local/hdf5
$ sudo make?
$ sudo make check # run test suite.?
$ sudo make install?
$ sudo make check-install # verify installation.
2. Install Coin3D
$ tar xvzf Coin-3.1.3.tar.gz
$ sudo make install
3. Install Qt
download from http://qt-project.org/downloads
if you choose not to go with binary, and want to install from the source code then:
$ tar xvzf qt-everywhere-opensource-src-4.8.3.tar.gz
$ ./configure -prefix /usr/local/Qt-4.8.3
$ sudo make install
Go for a coffee break. Qt takes a while to be installed.
4. Install Quarter
download from https://bitbucket.org/Coin3D/quarter
I had some problems with usage of Quarter and Qt by brain-view which caused the program to crash. The problem was that I had installed X11 beforehand which installed some of the Qt libraries in /opt/local and for some reason brain-view was looking in /opt/local for Qt libraries instead of /usr/local/Qt-4.8.3. I solved the problem by removing those Qt libraries from /opt/local and setting LDFLAG and CPPFLAG in Quarter installation:
$./configure --prefix=/usr/local --with-qt=/usr/local/Qt-4.8.3/
$sudo make LDFLAGS=-L/usr/local/Qt-4.8.3/lib/ CPPFLAGS=-I/usr/local/Qt-4.8.3/include/
$sudo make LDFLAGS=-L/usr/local/Qt-4.8.3/lib/ CPPFLAGS=-I/usr/local/Qt-4.8.3/include/ install
Many thanks to Mishkin Derakhshan for sending his travails in building brain-view2 to the minc-users list - his message is reproduced below: