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Science AMA Series: We are the neuroscientists who started the Open Neuroimaging Lab, a winner of the Open Science Prize - AMA
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At its vibrant frontier, neuroscience is becoming the playground of a worldwide interdisciplinary community which our team reflects well: we come from 4 different continents and diverse backgrounds. Roberto, Katja and Satra met at a BrainHack unconference, an event of art, science, and sleepless nights. Later, Katja met Amy in a conference on arts and neuroscience, and at MIT, a neurotechnology class linked Amy, Satra and eventually Roberto. We share a passion for open science and collaboration, a keen interest in neuroanatomy and visualization, and a drive to engage humanity in understanding ourselves better in health and in disease. Amy, through Eyewire, is allowing thousands of people to map the brain through games and Roberto has been pleading all of us around him to work on crowdsourced solutions for brain imaging. The Open Science Prize competition offered the opportunity to mesh these interests and to hopefully attract a worldwide community. The Open Neuroimaging Laboratory (http://openneu.ro/start/) is a project to facilitate finding, improving, and reusing the massive amount of brain MRI data available online. This data represents an enormous funding effort and the work and goodwill of thousands of participants. BrainBox, our first application, transforms these static MRIs into “living” matter for collaborative curation and analysis using only a Web browser; and MetaSearch, our second app, allows it to easily query this huge, living resource and find data relevant to you. Users can work, discuss, edit and annotate MRI images simultaneously. No data are downloaded, no software installed, allowing users to incrementally improve each other’s work. This increases scientific efficiency, improves public data quality, and reduces redundant effort. We already index more than 8000 MRIs, which are ready for collaborative projects. Twitter: https://twitter.com/OpenNeuro Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/openneuro/ You can vote for Open Neuroimaging Lab to win Phase II funding from the Open Science Prize (NIH, Wellcome Trust) here: http://bit.ly/openneurolab We will be back at 1 pm ET to answer your questions, ask us anything! Roberto Toro (Institute Pasteur, France): I am interested on the development and evolution of the brain, which I study through mathematical modelling, magnetic resonance imaging and genetics. https://twitter.com/R3RT0 Katja Heuer (Max Planck Institute, Germany): I am genuinely curious about brain development. I am studying the development of the human brain and its connectivity using magnetic resonance imaging. My aim is to relate brain development and language performance. https://twitter.com/katjaQheuer Satrajit Ghosh (MIT, joins at 2 pm ET): My research interests span computer science and neuroimaging, specifically in the areas of applied machine learning, software engineering, and applications of neuroimaging. The primary focus of my research group is to develop knowledge discovery platforms by integrating a set of multidisciplinary projects that span precision medicine in mental health, imaging genetics, machine learning, and dataflow systems for reproducible research. https://twitter.com/satra_ Amy Robinson Sterling (Princeton University): I am passionate about understanding consciousness and human elements like creativity and curiosity. I’m the Executive Director of Eyewire, a game to map the brain played by a quarter million people worldwide. I hope that by bringing together curious people from different backgrounds we will bring new perspectives to old neuroscientific challenges. https://twitter.com/amyleesterling