The BRAIN Initiative has made significant investments in a program to build the infrastructure that is needed to effectively share and interpret data. The goal of the program is to:
- build data science or informatics infrastructure that is useful to the research community;
- make data and tools openly available to the research community;
- help to enhance FAIR principles of data sharing and improve the rigor and reproducibility of BRAIN Initiative research; and
- enable or facilitate secondary analysis or data mining of BRAIN Initiative datasets.
Currently, the informatics program consists of three components: a) data archives; b) data standards; and c) software tools for data integration and analysis. The program is creating the infrastructure in scientific areas rather than building an all-encompassing infrastructure, such as:
- Integrated approaches to understanding circuit function in the nervous system;
- Invasive devices for recording and modulation in the human central nervous system;
- Non-invasive neuromodulation;
- Next generation imaging;
- Integrated approaches to cell census or atlas of the brain.
The data archives, the standards efforts, and the integration and analysis software in a sub-domain are all required to interact with each other. The data archives implement the software tools, which enables users analyzing the archived data on a cloud environment on the archive without downloading out the data; the data archives and the software tools moreover adopt the data standards to re-enforce data sharing and rigor and reproducibility of experiments.