E-neuroscience: challenges and triumphs in integrating distributed data from molecules to brains

Nat Neurosci. 2004 May;7(5):467-72. doi: 10.1038/nn1229.


Imaging, from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to localization of specific macromolecules by microscopies, has been one of the driving forces behind neuroinformatics efforts of the past decade. Many web-accessible resources have been created, ranging from simple data collections to highly structured databases. Although many challenges remain in adapting neuroscience to the new electronic forum envisioned by neuroinformatics proponents, these efforts have succeeded in formalizing the requirements for effective data sharing and data integration across multiple sources. In this perspective, we discuss the importance of spatial systems and ontologies for proper modeling of neuroscience data and their use in a large-scale data integration effort, the Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN).

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Brain*
  • Computational Biology*
  • Computer Communication Networks / economics
  • Computer Communication Networks / supply & distribution
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Databases as Topic / economics
  • Databases as Topic / supply & distribution
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods
  • Diagnostic Imaging / trends
  • Financial Support
  • Humans
  • Information Storage and Retrieval*
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neurosciences*