Brain Lecture Series

February 23rd, 2011

Title of Talk:”Towards a semantic infrastructure for cognitive neuroscience: The Cognitive Atlas Project”

Speaker: Russell Poldrack,
Director, Imaging Research Center
Professor of Psychology and Neurobiology

Location: GSU/GT Center for Advanced Brain Imaging
831 Marietta Street, Atlanta 30318
University of Texas at Austin

Time: 1:30pm


We are drowning in results from neuroimaging studies, but starving for an understanding of how these results inform brain function. In order to integrate across this wealth of research findings, I propose that we need a formal semantic infrastructure similar to those developed in other areas of bioscience such as genomics. I will first describe a set of informatics tools that mine literature and neuroimaging databases to characterize the relation between neural and mental function. I will then describe the Cognitive Atlas project (, which aims to develop a knowledge base for mental structure. Finally, I will outline a proof of concept showing how such a database could be used to extract the latent structure of brain processes that underlie mental function.