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Neuroinformatics: A Spotlight on Various Databases and the Importance of Their IntegrationNeuroinformatics: A Spotlight on Various Databases and the Importance of Their Integration

Brain is one of the most complex organs of the body and thus the challenge in neuroscience would seem the effort of understanding the complex structure, function, and development of the nervous system in healthy as well as diseased condition. Such understanding requires the integration of huge amounts of heterogeneous and complex data collected at various levels of investigation. Neuroinformatics combines neuroscience with information science/technology and deals with the creation and maintenance of web accessible databases that will be required to achieve such integration. There is significant interest amongst neuroscientists in sharing neuroscience data and analytical tools which provides the opportunity to differently reanalyze previously collected data and encourage new neuroscience interpretations that facilitates further development. However, information is usually stored in various databases, managed by heterogeneous database management systems or files, spreadsheets etc. which results into inaccuracy and inconsistencies in data acquisition and processing, lack of coordination resulting in duplication of efforts and of resources. Thus an integration of databases is a vital solution to these problems. This article, analyses various databases in the field of neuroscience along with the importance of integration of databases.

Author(s): Erica Sequeira and Saraswathy Nagendran

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