Open Source Data Base of Non-Human Primate Brain Imaging

An international team, including researchers at the California National Primate Research Center at UC Davis,  has released the first open-source data sets of non-human primate brain imaging. Details of the PRIMatE Data Exchange (PRIME-DE) consortium are published today (Sept. 27) in the journal Neuron.

The project will greatly augment progress on in vivo brain imaging of non-human primates, said John Morrison, director of the CNPRC and Professor of Neurology at the UC Davis School of Medicine.

MRI images

PRIME-DE collects MRI images of brains of non-human primates. It will be a global resource for researchers. (PRIME-DE)

“This is an outstanding example of the value of pooling resources in an open, collaborative manner,” Morrison said.” Given the great translational power of the nonhuman primate model and the difficulty in generating such a data set, PRIME-DE is sure to have an immediate and profound impact on the neuroscience community’s efforts to understand, prevent, and treat devastating human brain disorders.”

PRIME-DE will allow scientists around the world to share data from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies of non-human primates. The goal is to accelerate the development of a map of the neural connections in the non-human primate brain — and, ultimately, in the human brain. This could be an important tool for research into new tests and treatments for mental health disorders and other brain disorders and diseases.

By sharing data, the consortium should also reduce duplication of effort and the number of animals needed for research.

The Neuron paper presents details of 25 independent data collections aggregated across 22 sites. Morrison’s laboratory contributed one of the datasets to the study, in collaboration with Mark Baxter and Paula Croxson at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York.

The study also outlines the unique pitfalls and challenges that should be considered in the analysis of the non-human primate MRI datasets, including providing automated quality assessment of the contributed datasets.

The effort has been coordinated by Michael P. Milham of the Child Mind Institute and includes collaborators in the U.S., Canada, U.K., France, The Netherlands, Germany and China. The UC Davis/Mt. Sinai data set was supported by a program project grant from the National Insitute of Aging (NIH).

More information

PRIME-DE initiative

An Open Resource for Non-human Primate Imaging (Neuron)

California National Primate Research Center




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