The objective of this proposal is to develop, evaluate, and distribute a domain ontology of cognitive paradigms for application and use in the functional neuroimaging community. This cognitive paradigm ontology, CogPO, will be developed through the integration of two well known and established databases, the Functional Imaging Biomedical Informatics Research Network (FBIRN) Human Imaging Database (HID) and the BrainMap database. The design of CogPO concentrates on what can be observed directly: categorization of each paradigm in terms of (1) the stimulus presented to the subjects, (2) the requested instructions, and (3) the returned response. All paradigms are essentially comprised of these three orthogonal components, and formalizing an ontology around them is a clear and direct approach to describing paradigms. This structured, well-defined, common and controlled vocabulary will be capable of representing the cognitive paradigms in the FBIRN Data Repository, which stores structural and functional imaging datasets for later analysis, and in BrainMap, which stores analyzed results from the functional imaging literature. This proposal has been designed to include strong collaboration with the National Center for Biomedical Ontology (NCBO) and the Neuroinformatics Information Framework (NIF). Neither the NCBO nor the NIF currently seeks to develop an ontology of cognitive paradigms;thus, the current proposal is novel and does not conflict with any existing ontology efforts, but is a complementary endeavor. Through a series of workshops, CogPO developers will consult both the domain experts (the neuroimaging research community) and the ontological experts (NCBO) and the BIRN Ontology Task Force (OTF). CogPO developers also plan to allow user input and feedback from the entire neuroimaging community through the Neuroimaging Informatics Tools and Resources Clearinghouse (NITRC). This proposal includes a formal plan for community acceptance of the developed ontology, complete with a list of concrete deliverables in Protigi-OWL format to be distributed by the end of the funding period, which can be utilized not only by FBIRN and BrainMap users, but also by the entire neuroimaging community. It is our ultimate aim that CogPO be designed to enable its extension to a broader context in cognitive sciences.
CogPO, a domain ontology of cognitive paradigms, would facilitate descriptions of cognitive experimental paradigms in ways that are machine-readable and machine-interpretable, to allow communication and automated data sharing across diverse databases and data sources. This ontology will be made available for adoption not only by other fMRI databases, but also for archives of other neuroimaging modalities (e.g., EEG or MEG data), such as the Neural ElectroMagnetic Ontologies (NEMO), and literature neuroinformatics efforts such as the Society for Neuroscience's PubMed Plus. It is our ultimate aim that CogPO be designed to enable its extension to a broader context in cognitive sciences.
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