MAR 20, 2014 10:00 AM PDT
Neuroimaging Informatics: Distributed Resources for 'Big' Cognition
Presented at the Neuroscience Virtual Event
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  • Professor, Univ of Massachusettes Medical School, Department of Psychiatry, Director of the Division of Neuroinformatics at the Child and Adolescent Neurodevelopment Initiative
      Dr. Kennedy is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is Director of the Division of Neuroinformatics at the Child and Adolescent Neurodevelopment Initiative (CANDI). He has extensive expertise in the development of image analysis techniques and was a co-founder of the Center for Morphometric Analysis (CMA) at the Massachusetts General Hospital. His career has seen participation in the advent of such technologies as MRI-based morphometric analysis (1989), functional MRI (1991) and diffusion tensor pathway analysis (1998). He has long standing experience with development of neuroinformatics resources (Internet Brain Volumetric Database, Internet Brain Segmentation Repository, Internet Analysis Tools Registry), and participated as co-PI (PI: Bruce Rosen) of the morphometry Biomedical Informatics Research Network (mBIRN). Dr. Kennedy is the community liaison for the Neuroimaging Informatics Tools and Resources Clearinghouse (NITRC). In addition, he is a founding editor of the journal Neuroinformatics that debuted in 2003.

    Neuroimaging plays a large role in our pursuit of the understanding of behavior and cognition in health and disease. The past decade has seen the emergence of a wealth of resources that support this pursuit. The increasing complexity of this landscape of resources necessitates the development of resource management systems to support researchers in navigating this big data environment.

    The Neuroimaging Informatics Tools and Resources Clearinghouse (NITRC) is a neuroimaging informatics knowledge environment for structural and functional imaging, clinical neuroinformatics, genomics and computational neuroscience. Initiated in 2006 through the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, NITRCs mission is to foster a user-friendly knowledge environment for the neuroinformatics community.

    NITRC is comprised of three integrated services. The NITRC-Resources website ( facilitates the finding of software and data. To support the need for expanded data hosting, the NITRC Image Registry (NITRC-IR) provides a data sharing solution. Once a user finds software and data, local processing is likely to become rate limiting as the magnitude of the shared datasets gets larger. This prompted the development of the NITRC Computational Environment (NITRC-CE), a cloud-based, high-performance, computational platform tailored to the needs of the NITRC community.

    In this presentation, we will review the general functionality of the NITRC suite of services and explore the applications of these tools to example cognitive and behavioral questions as supported by various neuroimaging initiatives. Integrating data from the '1000 Functional Connectomes' project, the Autism Brain Image Data Exchange (ABIDE), the National Database for Autism Research (NDAR) and the Pediatric Imaging, Neurocognition and Genetics (PING) projects, as examples, will highlight the utility of these approaches in integrating many disparate information sources in support of a unified analytic strategy.

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