Functional brain imaging (fMRI) is a medical imaging technology that give us insight to the function of the human brain. The datasets produced are large, and highly complex, and very challenging for researchers to explore and share. This project is a prototype application that aims to think about how such a dataset could be interactively rendered in a web browser. Such an interface would support easy exploration, standardization, and sharing of this functional, better empowering researchers to generate novel hypotheses to catalyze discovery in this field.

The Technology

Data Driven Documents (D3) is a JavaScript library developed with interactive visualization in mind. It take's advantage of the web browser's built in standards for cascading style sheets (CSS), HTML, and scalable vector graphics (SVG).

Design Challenges

Visualization of functional imaging data is incredibly challenging, and intelligent choices must be made about filtering datasets, what distance on the page should represent, and other meaningful variables like color, depth, and size. We are making great progress in developing these tools, but we still have a long way to go. This project offers an exploratory prototype for a two-dimensional, interactive exploration of this data, with goals of discussing these design choices, and ultimately leading to a comprehensive application for researchers.

Copyright 2014, vsochat, Poldracklab at Stanford University