Neuroimaging Data Access Group

NIDAG is an international working group dedicated to enhancing access to neuroimaging data in order to advance progress in neuroscience.

Why is more data access needed?

The number of published neuroimaging studies is increasing rapidly (see Figure from Russ Poldrack's CNS talk) and it is not feasible to read them all.

If a computer database could store key information from published fMRI papers and make that information easier to search or share, this would have substantial benefits for the neuroimaging community.

Data access for better searching

Presently, a search of PubMed for fMRI studies which activate a particular brain region is not very efficient, because nomenclature is not consistent.  Many fMRI papers report brain activations in a standard coordinate system (MNI or Talaraich).  If these coordinates were searchable, it would be easier to find published papers which report activation of specific brain regions. 
Projects like AMAT, Brainmap, Brede andSumsDB have started to tackle this problem.  NIDAG wants to formalise and improve these databases so that they meet the needs of the neuroimaging community.

Data access for meta-analysis

Formal meta-analysis of published data is a valuable way to assess the consistency and reliability of experimental results.  A database of neuroimaging results would facilitate meta-analyses, in conjunction with tools like GingerALE andMulti-level Kernel Density Analysis.

What does NIDAG do?

NIDAG seeks to establish a universal coordinate database, including both past papers and future studies.  Precise details of how this should work are under development.