Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dealing With Data Overload? A New Tool Automates Meta-analysis of fMRI Studies | Pain Research Forum

Faced with a deluge of data from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies, what are researchers to do? To deal with the problem, Tal Yarkoni, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Tor Wager, University of Colorado at Boulder, and colleagues developed NeuroSynth, a text mining and data extraction tool that facilitates large-scale analyses of neuroimaging studies. As reported in a paper published online June 26 in Nature Methods, the new software automatically extracts fMRI data from published papers, tags the data based on the words used most frequently in the papers—such as "attention," "emotion," or "pain"—and uses those data to construct meta-analyses. Yarkoni took a break from the recent Human Brain Mapping meeting in Quebec City, Canada, to talk with PRF about what the software can (and cannot) do, what he has learned about pain, and what further developments are already in the works.

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