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F1000Res. 2016 Sep 2;5:2157. eCollection 2016.

Opportunities and considerations for visualising neuroimaging data on very large displays.

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Imanova Centre for Imaging Sciences, London, W12 0NN, UK; Division of Brain Sciences, Imperial College London, London, SW7 2AZ, UK; Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit, University College London, London, WC1E 7HB, UK.
Data Science Institute, Imperial College London, London, SW7 2AZ, UK.


Neuroimaging experiments can generate impressive volumes of data and many images of the results. This is particularly true of multi-modal imaging studies that use more than one imaging technique, or when imaging is combined with other assessments. A challenge for these studies is appropriate visualisation of results in order to drive insights and guide accurate interpretations. Next-generation visualisation technology therefore has much to offer the neuroimaging community. One example is the Imperial College London Data Observatory; a high-resolution (132 megapixel) arrangement of 64 monitors, arranged in a 313 degree arc, with a 6 metre diameter, powered by 32 rendering nodes. This system has the potential for high-resolution, large-scale display of disparate data types in a space designed to promote collaborative discussion by multiple researchers and/or clinicians. Opportunities for the use of the Data Observatory are discussed, with particular reference to applications in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) research and clinical practice. Technical issues and current work designed to optimise the use of the Data Observatory for neuroimaging are also discussed, as well as possible future research that could be enabled by the use of the system in combination with eye-tracking technology.


Neuroimaging; PET; data observatory; display technology; eye-tracking; fMRI; multiple sclerosis.; visualisation

Conflict of interest statement

MW’s primary employer is Imanova Ltd., a privately owned company specialising in contract research work for the pharmaceutical and bio-technology industries. MY and DB have no competing interests to declare.

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