Visualization Of Fmri Network Data

NASA Tech Briefs NPO-49385

Functional connections within the brain can be revealed through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which shows simultaneous activations of blood flow in the brain during response tests. However, fMRI specialists currently do not have a tool for visualizing the complex data that comes from fMRI scans. They work with correlation matrices that table what functional region connections exist, but they have no corresponding visualization. FMReye is a graph network visualization tool that relies on a technique developed in computer science to support the process of interactive exploration. Using the “brushing” technique, the user can examine the same data from multiple perspectives, and multiple levels of abstraction at the same time. The Web application loads a correlation matrix of fMRI data and demonstrates three levels of abstraction within a multi-view display. The first level is the exploratory view, which is a representative 3D rotatable model of the connections between functional regions. Anatomical landmarks provide the contextual clues for spatial orientation.