Medical Technology

Neuromap Toolbox Revolutionizes Brain-Mapping Data Interpretation

The report covered in this summary was published on bioRxiv.org as a preprint and has not yet been peer evaluated.

The most important takeaways

  • Neuromaps is an open-source Python program that researchers have created. It provides researchers with a standard workflow that can help them interpret their data and facilitate interdisciplinarity.

  • This software allows researchers to examine relationships between brain maps, upload their own data, conduct calculations, and share findings in a standardized yet flexible framework.

Why this matters

  • Brain maps (“blueprints” of brain structure and function) are widely used by researchers, but sharing and the subsequent accuracy of interpretation has been a challenge. This comprehensive open-source software program can help solve the inconsistencies and non-standardization.

  • The Neuromaps toolbox facilitates the use of new and existing brain maps, and facilitates the sharing of maps within the neuroimaging world.

Product Design

  • Researchers created a three-pronged enrichment system for neuroimaging. It could include multiple coordinated systems, a brain map repository, as well as spatial autocorrelation between maps.

  • A set of group-level transforms between four common coordinate systems used in neuroimaging (MNI152, fsaverage, and fsLR) was developed and integrated using a set of accessible, uniform interfaces.

  • Over 40 brain maps for reference from published research over the past decade were collected and added to the repository.

  • Nine spatial autocorrelation-preserving null models for statistical comparison between brain maps were integrated into the software, helping researchers perform standardized, reproducible analyses.

  • Twenty brain maps were converted into every other coordinate system and they were correlated. Each coordinate system as well as data resolution were tested, and spatial null models were employed to evaluate the validity of all correlations.

Key Results

  • The Neuromaps Toolbox offers programmatic access to templates for four standard coordinate systems. It also covers a variety of methods of data collection.

  • The brain map repository has more than 10 years of brain mapping research conducted by humans using multiple imaging techniques, an invaluable resource.

  • According to the authors the toolbox can be used as a widely accessible and easily accessible tool in brain mapping research.

Limitations

  • Transformations between coordinate systems are only suitable for group-level data.

  • If subject-level data are used, it is recommended to reprocess them using the coordinate systems of choice instead of transforming group-level aggregate data.

Report Disclosures

  • The Canada First Research Excellence Fund and Brain Canada supported part of the research.

  • The authors were funded individually by Fonds du Recherche Quebec – Nature et Technologies, Canadian Open Neuroscience Platform and Helmholtz International BigBrain Analytics & Learning Laboratory, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, NIH, Canada Research Chairs Program and Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives.

This is a brief summary of a preliminary research study, “Neuromaps: Structural and Functional Interpretations of Brain Maps,” by Ross D. Markello from the Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University and colleagues on bioRxiv. provided to you by Medscape. This study has not been peer reviewed. The full study’s text can be found on bioRxiv.org.

Content Source: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/966599?src=rss

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