Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
Software and Platforms
New Results
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: Partnerships and Cooperations

National Initiatives


BrainPedia project

Participants : Bertrand Thirion [Correspondant] , Gaël Varoquaux, Yannick Schwartz, Virgile Fritsch.

BrainPedia is an ANR JCJC (2011-2015) which addresses the following question: Neuroimaging produces huge amounts of complex data that are used to better understand the relations between brain structure and function. While the acquisition and analysis of this data is getting standardized in some aspects, the neuroimaging community is still largely missing appropriate tools to store and organize the knowledge related to the data. Taking advantage of common coordinate systems to represent the results of group studies, coordinate-based meta-analysis approaches associated with repositories of neuroimaging publications provide a crude solution to this problem, that does not yield reliable outputs and looses most of the data-related information. In this project, we propose to tackle the problem in a statistically rigorous framework, thus providing usable information to drive neuroscientific knowledge and questions.

IRMgroup project

Participants : Bertrand Thirion [Correspondant] , Alexandre Gramfort, Michael Eickenberg.

This is a joint project with Polytechnique/CMAP : Stéphanie Allassonnière and Stéphane Mallat (2010-2013).

Much of the visual cortex is organized into visual field maps, which means that nearby neurons have receptive fields at nearby locations in the image. The introduction of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has made it possible to identify visual field maps in human cortex, the most important one being the medial occipital cortex (V1,V2,V3). It is also possible to relate directly the activity of simple cells to an fMRI activation pattern and Parietal developed some of the most effective methods. However, the simple cell model is not sufficient to account for high-level information on visual scenes, which requires the introduction of specific semantic features. While the brain regions related to semantic information processing are now well understood, little is known on the flow of visual information processing between the primary visual cortex and the specialized regions in the infero-temporal cortex. A central issue is to better understand the behavior of intermediate cortex layers.

Our proposition is to use our mathematical approach to formulate explicitly some generative model of information processing, such as those that characterize complex cells in the visual cortex, and then to identify the brain substrate of the corresponding processing units from fMRI data. While fMRI resolution is still too coarse for a very detailed mapping of detailed cortical functional organization, we conjecture that some of the functional mechanisms that characterize biological vision processes can be captured through fMRI; in parallel we will push the fMRI resolution to increase our chance to obtain a detailed mapping of visual cortical regions.

Niconnect project

Participants : Bertrand Thirion, Gaël Varoquaux [Correspondant] , Alexandre Abraham.