One of the HBP's most important objectives is to make it easier for neuroscientists to organise and access the massive volumes of heterogeneous data, knowledge and tools produced by the international neuroscience community – a goal it shares with the INCF and with other on-going projects, in particular the Allen Institute's Brain Atlas projects (

The Neuroinformatics Platform will contribute to these efforts, offering new tools for the construction of multi-level brain atlases and for the analysis and interpretation of large volumes of structural and functional data. The HBP will use these tools to develop detailed multi-level atlases of the rodent and human brains, bringing together data from the literature, and from on-going research, and providing a single source of annotated, high quality data for the HBP modelling effort and for the international neuroscience community. Another key feature of the platform will be support for Predictive Neuroinformatics: the mining of large volumes of data and analysis of activity data to identify patterns and relationships between data from different levels of biological organisation, making it possible to predict parameters where experimental data is not yet available and to test and calibrate model implementations.

Systematic application of this strategy has the potential to drastically increase the amount of information that can be extracted from experimental data, rapidly filling gaps in our current knowledge and accelerating the generation of data required for brain modelling. The objective for the ramp-up phase is to launch the first functional version of the Neuroinformatics Platform and populate it with data, models and ontologies for ion channels, cell types, synapse types and microcircuits. The platform will include a Neuroinformatics web portal for accessing the platform – including atlases, ontologies and tools. The data and models will be placed in the Data space and annotated with ontologies from the Brainpedia. Initial tools and workflows for analysis of electron microscopy data and local field potential data will be deployed. A core service for tracking provenance of data and models throughout the workflows will ensure reproducibility and appropriate attribution. Initial Predictive Neuroinformatics efforts targeting the prediction of fine scale and long range connectivity from DTI imaging data will be completed.

What People are Saying

  • One of the core goals of the Human Brain Project is to integrate our full understanding of the human brain – to know what we know – and the Neuroinformatics subproject is really about aggregating, federating, bringing together all of that data, making it accessible and telling us what we know. How much can that actually inform us about the missing data and how do we make use of it to build models.

    Prof. Sean Hill, Blue Brain Project, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne,
    co-leader of the Neuroinformatics subproject