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IRP Scientific and Statistical Computing Core - Overview

SSCC is the Scientific and Statistical Computing Core of the NIMH Intramural Research Program. The primary function of this core is to support functional neuroimaging research at the NIH. This includes development of new data analysis techniques, their implementation in the AFNI software , advising researchers on the analysis methods, and instructing them in the use of software tools .

Support methods:

Provision of software for analysis for FMRI data (AFNI package: http://afni.nimh.nih.gov)

  • AFNI has been developed for the last 10 years by Dr Cox, et al. (6 years in Milwaukee, 4 years at NIMH)
  • Formal and informal instruction in the use of AFNI, including outlines of the statistical methods used in the programs
    • Just finished a 5-day/40 hour “AFNI bootcamp” held in the CIT computer training lab – Mar 14-18, 2005
    • Also conduct 2-day “mini-camps” for a quick intro to AFNI, and for a quick intro to cortical surface extraction with the MGH software FreeSurfer
  • Installation of AFNI on NIH computers (Mac OS X, Unix, Linux) – approximately 120 NIH systems have used AFNI in the last month (80 NIMH, 20 NINDS, 20 other)
  • Realtime monitoring of FMRI data at scanners
  • Continuing development of new modules for AFNI to meet needs of NIH researchers

Consulting with NIH researchers about FMRI data analysis issues, concerns, and methods

  • Before and after data acquisition
  • In the context of AFNI or SPM software packages
  • Personal hands-on consulting in small groups for substantial problems
    • About 200 logged formal consultation meetings with NIH researchers in last year: »50% NIMH, »20% NINDS, »30% Other
  • Web-based message board for “quick questions”
    • approximately 1000 Question & Answer messages/year