Focus


Focus on human brain mapping

For several decades, the neuroscience community has endeavored to understand how the brain controls our perception of the world and how we interact with it. The molecular, cellular and circuit-level mechanisms that underlie these processes have been investigated primarily in animal models. Noninvasive methods such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) have allowed neuroscientists to complement these findings with measures of human brain responses to complex stimuli and behaviors. Nature Neuroscience presents a special issue highlighting considerations and recent developments in noninvasive techniques that improve our understanding of neural measurements in humans, bridging the gap between human and animal research in neuroscience.

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Editorials

Focus on human brain mapping

Focus on human brain mapping p297

doi:10.1038/nn.4522

We present a special issue highlighting considerations and recent developments in noninvasive techniques that improve our understanding of neural measurements in humans, bridging the gap between human and animal research in neuroscience.


Focus on human brain mapping

Fostering reproducible fMRI research p298

doi:10.1038/nn.4521

The validity of conclusions drawn from functional MRI research has been questioned for some time now. Nature Neuroscience and Nature Communications are committed to working with neuroimaging researchers to improve the robustness and reproducibility of their work.


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Commentary

Focus on human brain mapping

Best practices in data analysis and sharing in neuroimaging using MRI pp299 - 303

Thomas E Nichols, Samir Das, Simon B Eickhoff, Alan C Evans, Tristan Glatard, Michael Hanke, Nikolaus Kriegeskorte, Michael P Milham, Russell A Poldrack, Jean-Baptiste Poline, Erika Proal, Bertrand Thirion, David C Van Essen, Tonya White & B T Thomas Yeo

doi:10.1038/nn.4500

Responding to widespread concerns about reproducibility, the Organization for Human Brain Mapping created a working group to identify best practices in data analysis, results reporting and data sharing to promote open and reproducible research in neuroimaging. We describe the challenges of open research and the barriers the field faces.


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Perspective

Focus on human brain mapping

Computational approaches to fMRI analysis pp304 - 313

Jonathan D Cohen, Nathaniel Daw, Barbara Engelhardt, Uri Hasson, Kai Li, Yael Niv, Kenneth A Norman, Jonathan Pillow, Peter J Ramadge, Nicholas B Turk-Browne & Theodore L Willke

doi:10.1038/nn.4499

A revolution is underway in cognitive neuroscience, where tools and techniques from computer science and the tech industry are helping to extract more meaningful cognitive signals from noisy and increasingly large fMRI datasets. In this paper, the authors review the cutting edge of such computational analyses and discuss future opportunities and challenges.


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Reviews

Focus on human brain mapping

Studying neuroanatomy using MRI pp314 - 326

Jason P Lerch, André J W van der Kouwe, Armin Raznahan, Tomáš Paus, Heidi Johansen-Berg, Karla L Miller, Stephen M Smith, Bruce Fischl & Stamatios N Sotiropoulos

doi:10.1038/nn.4501

The study of neuroanatomy using MRI enables key insights into how our brains function, are shaped by genes and environment, and how they change with development, aging and disease. The authors provide an overview of the methods for measuring the brain and also describe key artifacts and confounds.


Focus on human brain mapping

Magnetoencephalography for brain electrophysiology and imaging pp327 - 339

Sylvain Baillet

doi:10.1038/nn.4504

Magnetoencephalography (MEG) tracks the millisecond electrical activity of the brain noninvasively. This review emphasizes MEG's unique assets, especially in terms of imaging and resolving the mechanisms underlying the apparent complexity of polyrhythmic brain dynamics. It also identifies practical challenges and clarifies misconceptions about the technique.


Focus on human brain mapping

Dynamic models of large-scale brain activity pp340 - 352

Michael Breakspear

doi:10.1038/nn.4497

Cognitive activity requires the collective behavior of cortical, thalamic and spinal neurons across large-scale systems of the CNS. This paper provides an illustrated introduction to dynamic models of large-scale brain activity, from the tenets of the underlying theory to challenges, controversies and recent breakthroughs.


Focus on human brain mapping

Network neuroscience pp353 - 364

Danielle S Bassett & Olaf Sporns

doi:10.1038/nn.4502

Network neuroscience tackles the challenge of discovering the principles underlying complex brain function and cognition from an explicitly integrative perspective. Here, the authors discuss emerging trends in network neuroscience, charting a path towards a better understanding of the brain that bridges computation, theory and experiment across spatial scales and species.


Focus on human brain mapping

Building better biomarkers: brain models in translational neuroimaging pp365 - 377

Choong-Wan Woo, Luke J Chang, Martin A Lindquist & Tor D Wager

doi:10.1038/nn.4478

Neuroimaging and pattern recognition are being combined to develop brain models of clinical disorders. Such models yield biomarkers that can be shared and validated across populations, narrowing the gap between neuroscience and clinical applications. The authors summarize 475 translational modeling studies, highlighting challenges and ways to improve biomarker development.


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