Creating A Common Language For Neuroscience Data | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 92 Issue 32 | p. 18 | Concentrates
Issue Date: August 11, 2014

Creating A Common Language For Neuroscience Data

Department: Government & Policy
Keywords: data, neuroscience, brain

Five prominent U.S. research institutions are working together to make neuroscience data more accessible and usable. Currently, the formats used by neuroscientists to capture data, such as the activity of thousands of neurons in the brain, vary from lab to lab, and even within a lab. “This pilot program is an effort to help us speak the same language,” says Christof Koch, chief scientific officer at the Allen Institute for Brain Science, an organization involved in the effort. Others involved are California Institute of Technology, New York University School of Medicine, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), and the University of California, Berkeley. Their one-year project—funded by GE, The Kavli Foundation, the Allen Institute, HHMI, and the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility—aims to develop a common data format for a subset of neurophysiology data. The collaboration is the first effort under Neurodata Without Borders, an initiative to standardize neuroscience data globally. The need for a standard format is magnified by large-scale efforts like the U.S. government’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies initiative.

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