, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 127-144

Online retrieval, processing, and visualization of primate connectivity data from the CoCoMac Database

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Abstract

Connectivity is the key to understanding distributed and cooperative brain functions. Detailed and comprehensive data on large-scale connectivity between primate brain areas have been collated systematically from published reports of experimental tracing studies. Although the majority of the data have been made easily available for online retrieval, the multiplicity of brain maps and the precise requirements of anatomical naming limit the intuitive access to the data. The quality of data retrieval can be improved by observing a small set of conventions in data representation. Standardized interfaces open up further opportunities for automated search and retrieval, for flexible visualization of data, and for interoperability with other databases. This article provides a discussion and examples in text and image of the capabilities of the online interface to the CoCoMac database of primate connectivity. These serve to point out sources of potential confusion and failure, and to demonstrate the automated interfacing with other neuroinformatics resources that facilitate selection and processing of connectivity data, for example, for computational modelling and interpretation of functional imaging studies.