Project: Research project

Project Details


The objective of this research proposal is to advance the use of quantitative metanalysis as a research method for human functional brain mapping. This will done by testing, refining and distributing strategies and software tools for metanalysis developed by the PI and colleagues at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA). Fox and colleagues have developed a new strategy for metanalytic modeling of the functional organization of the human brain-mapping literature, termed functional volumes models (FVM). FVM computes spatial probability profiles of the brain locations of mental operations. Fox and colleagues have also developed an electronic environment (BrainMap) for encoding, retrieval and visualization of the human brain mapping literature, as an aid to metanalysis. BrainMap includes a coding scheme (a hierarchical semantics) for the behaviors used and mental operations experimentally mapped, termed the Behavioral Coding Scheme (BCS). In the present proposal, the FVM metanalysis strategy (Aim 1) and the BCS (Aim 2) will be validated and refined in a collaboration between Fox and colleagues at UTHSCSA and the Washington University group of Raichle and Petersen. The FVM strategy will be validated by modeling 12, language-related brain areas using two, alternative strategies: original-data metanalysis and literature-based metanalysis (FVM). Original-data metanalysis will be made possible by accessing the extensive image-data archives of the participating groups. Modeling assumptions and results will be independently tested (Aim 1). The behavioral coding scheme will be validated by coding three, 30-paper samples from the brain-mapping literature and analyzing for comprehensivity, reproducibility, and accuracy (Aim 2). Validation of the BCS is a necessary precursor to investigator entry of data into BrainMap. General strategies and rules for metanalysis will be addressed at biannual workshops amongst grant personnel and invited consultants, including refinements of the FVM strategy, the BCS, and the BrainMap environment (Aim 3). BrainMap will be modified in an ongoing manner, to accommodate identified strategies, procedures, coding schemes and data produced by this project (Aim 3). Strategies and guidelines will also be presented to the community through publications and workshops at meetings of the brain mapping and informatics communities. As this approach to metanalysis is new and substantially different from prior forms of metanalysis, the field of informatics stands to benefit from the validation of a new analysis paradigm.
Effective start/end date3/1/002/29/04


  • National Institutes of Health: $378,390.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $353,176.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $362,178.00


  • Medicine(all)
  • Health Professions(all)


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