, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 3-10

Unobtrusive integration of data management with fMRI analysis

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This note describes a software utility, called X-batch which addresses two pressing issues typically faced by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) neuroimaging laboratories (1) analysis automation and (2) data management. The first issue is addressed by providing a simple batch mode processing tool for the popular SPM software package (http://www.fil.ion. ucl.ac.uk/spm/; Welcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience, London, UK). The second is addressed by transparently recording metadata describing all aspects of the batch job e.g., subject demographics, analysis parameters, locations and names of created files, date and time of analysis, and so on). These metadata are recorded as instances of an extended version of the Protégé-based Experiment Lab Book ontology created by the Dartmouth fMRI Data Center. The resulting instantiated ontology provides a detailed record of all fMRI analyses performed, and as such can be part of larger systems for neuroimaging data management, sharing, and visualization. The X-batch system is in use in our own fMRI research, and is available for download at http://X-batch.sourceforge.net/.