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Jul 18, 2006

Definition of neuroinformatics

The website Pharmabiz provides a good definition of Neuroinformatics:

In this discipline work is focused on the integration of neuroscientific information from the level of the genome to the level of human behavior. A major goal of this new discipline is to produce digital capabilities for a web-based information management system in the form of databases and associated data management tools. The databases and software tools are being designed for the benefit of neuroscientists, behavioral scientists, clinicians and educators in an effort to better understand brain structure, function, and development. Some of the databases developed in Neuroinformatics are Surface Management System (SuMS), The fMRIDC, BrainMap, BrainInfo, X-Anat, The Brain Architecture Management System (BAMS), The Ligand Gated Ion Channel database (LGICdb), ModelDB and Probabilistic atlas and reference system for the human brain. Most of these databases are freely available and can be accessed through internet. They provide the particular information in detail at one place and help in the neuroscience research. Some of the generally used neuroinformatic software tools include GENESIS, NEURON, Catacomb, Channelab, HHsim, NEOSIM, NANS, SNNAP, etc. The data sharing in neuroscience is not the only application of neuroinformatics, it is much more. The computational modeling of ion channels, various parts of neurons, full neurons and even neural networks helps to understand the complex neural system and its working. This type of modeling greatly overlaps with system biology and also gets benefit from bioinformatics databases. In India neuroinformatics research is mainly being carrying out presently at National Brain Research Centre, Gurgaon under the department of biotechnology, government of India. The computational modeling of various processes related to neurosciences helps in understanding of brain functions in normal and various disorder states. Several efforts in this direction are also in progress.

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