Modern neuroscience is providing profound insights into nature's most mysterious puzzle -- the human brain -- while applications of information and computer science are transforming the way people interact with each other and with the world around them. The new science of neuroinformatics, which sits at the junction, integrates knowledge and promises to catalyze progress in these dynamic and seemingly disparate areas of study. Neuroinformatics research will allow brain and behavioral scientists to make better sense and use of their data through advanced information tools and approaches. These include new ways to acquire, store, visualize, analyze, integrate, synthesize, and share data, as well as the means for electronic scientific collaboration.
In this country, the principal source of support for neuroinformatics research is the Human Brain Project. The project, which is led by the National Institute of Mental Health, now supports neuroinformatics research performed by over 60 scientists. This volume presents the findings of the first group of researchers. Their efforts will begin to arm the next generation of brain and behavioral scientists with tools to attack the serious problem of information overload, and ultimately relate their findings to those obtained from different species, levels of biological organization, methods, and laboratories. And the challenges presented by the amount, diversity, and complexity of brain and behavioral data will give informatics researchers the impetus to test and expand the limits of their own science. The work described in this volume signals a change in the way scientists interact with data, instruments and each other, and points the way to a very different and richer future understanding of the human brain and mind.
"…the book is a must for all those interested in the interface between brain and machine, and it effectively whets the appetite for more."
"This is an extraordinary start of an extraordinary project -- the Human Brain Project. It is obvious that without proper information management, accumulation of huge amounts of data in brain sciences would remain a parochial enterprise. The Human Brain Project was intended to 'grab the bull by the horns' and steer informatics research towards inventing, developing, and maintaining databases of neuroscientific information: hence, Neuroinformatics. This volume is a collection of gems, the first harvest of neuroinformatics research harvested through the Human Brain Project. Its diversity, depth, ingenuity, and usefulness are simply breathtaking. If this is an indication of things to come, I can only say that the conception and execution of this project have been an unqualified success. I am already looking forward to the second round, when all of these approaches will hit the neuroscientist's computer screen for an unprecedented journey in brain space!"
—Apostolos P. Georgopoulos
University of Minnesota Medical School
"The articles in this book provide excellent reviews of work in this new area, and will provide important guidelines and mileposts for future developments in what will become an increasingly important area of neuroscience."
—Edmund T. Rolls
University of Oxford
Contents: Foreword. Preface. M.F. Huerta, S.H. Koslow, The Human Brain Project: Past, Present, and Promise. D. Purpura, The Human Brain Project: Priority or Problem? G.M. Shepherd, M.D. Healy, M.S. Singer, B.E. Peterson, J.S. Mirsky, L. Wright, J.E. Smith, P. Nadkarni, P.L. Miller, SenseLab: A Project in Multidisciplinary, Multilevel Sensory Integration. D.E. Beeman, J.M. Bower, E. De Schutter, E.N. Efthimiadis, N. Goddard, J. Leigh, The GENESIS Simulator-Based Neuronal Database. F. Bloom, W.G. Young, E.A. Nimchinsky, P.R. Hof, J.H. Morrison, Neuronal Vulnerability and Informatics in Human Disease. D.H. Laidlaw, A.H. Barr, R.E. Jacobs, Goal-Directed Magnetic Resonance Brain Microimaging. F.L. Bookstein, Biometrics and Brain Maps: The Promise of the Morphometric Synthesis. J.C. Mazziotta, A.W. Toga, A. Evans, P. Fox, J. Lancaster, Atlases of the Human Brain. J.F. Brinkley, L.M. Meyers, J.S. Prothero, G.H. Heil, J.S. Tsuruda, K.R. Maravilla, G.A. Ojemann, C. Rosse, A Structural Information Framework for Brain Mapping. B. Subramaniam, J.G. Hennessey, M.A. Rubin, L.A. Beach, A.L. Reiss, Software and Methods for Quantitative Imaging in Neuroscience: The Kennedy Krieger Institute Human Brain Project.