Background

[IMPORTANT NOTE: We have now resubmitted our proposal to NIH, and any additional survey responses will not be included. But you're still welcome to fill out the survey if you like, as we may use this data for other purposes in future.]

This is a short survey asking for community feedback on a proposed neuroimaging analysis platform called NeuroScout. The project would be funded by an NIH proposal, and is led by Tal Yarkoni in collaboration with Russ Poldrack, Michael Hanke, Chris Gorgolewski, and Satra Ghosh. Other active neuroimaging projects developed by this team include Neurosynth, OpenfMRI, PyMVPA, Nipype, NeuroVault, and the Cognitive Atlas.

The goal of the proposed NeuroScout platform is to allow anyone with an internet connection to conduct sophisticated analyses of existing fMRI datasets, with a particular focus on naturalistic experimental designs like movies and audio narratives. We propose to develop a web-based interface that allows users to construct complex statistical models by selecting predictors from a large library of potential variables (to which users can contribute).

To get a better sense of the proposed platform, please read the Specific Aims page. Or, take a look at this fancy schematic figure:

Image
The basic idea is that users would advance through a series of graphical menus that allow rapid construction of statistical models (panel A). Users would not be required to make technical decisions about image analysis; by default, we would use well-validated analysis pipelines. Users would only need to specify the details of the statistical analysis--i.e., which conditions and covariates they wanted to include in the model. The resulting analysis scripts could then be either downloaded and executed locally (in a bundle that includes the necessary data), or easily deployed to a cloud-computing environment (panel B). In the latter case, users would only need to pay for the computing costs--typically just a few dollars for a large analysis. All image and statistical results would be automatically deposited on the NeuroVault repository (panel C), along with a full interactive report. Thus, our goal is to enable users to go from hypothesis generation to inspection of results in a matter of hours, without ever having to download any data or install any piece of software.

Our proposal was recently reviewed by an NIH panel, and we will be resubmitting it shortly. The initial response to our proposal was very positive with respect to the technical aspects of the project, but the reviewers quite reasonably expressed some uncertainty about how many researchers would use such a platform, as we did not provide any data on anticipated adoption. To address this concern, we are now reaching out to the research community in order to more directly assess the potential size and scope of the NeuroScout userbase. We would very much appreciate your answers to several questions listed below. Given the nature of the survey and the obvious potential for selection bias, our goal is not to obtain a representative sample of the entire community. Rather, we simply wish to demonstrate that there is a critical mass of researchers who are eager to use such a platform. Your support will help us demonstrate this goal.

Survey

Please answer the following questions:

* 1. My prior experience working with fMRI data includes (check all that apply)?

* 2. Factors that prevent me from using fMRI data more often in my research include (check all that apply):

* 4. Please tell us why/how you'd use the NeuroScout platform in your research [optional, but a brief response would be much appreciated.]

Your responses to the above questions are completely anonymous. However, if you're willing to disclose your identity in support of this project, please provide your name and email below. We will add you to a list of signatories who have endorsed the following statement (note: please read the linked Specific Aims page before endorsing):

"Having read the Specific Aims page for this proposal, I believe that the NeuroScout platform would make a valuable contribution to the neuroimaging research community. There is a good chance that I or someone in my research group would use such a service."

* 5. Please enter your name and email address (optional):

T