The BRAINnet Foundation

The BRAINnet Foundation is an independent, non-profit entity for BRAINnet governance for the scientific community

BRAINnet Foundation has been established as a 501(c) 3 Tax Exempt research foundation in the state of California. The purpose of this independent non-profit corporation is to develop, enhance and assist the global communication of scientists who wish to share insights into the human brain and its disorders.

A key aspect of the BRAINnet Foundation is to enable access and add to the processed data from Brain Resource International Database for independent scientific publication. The Foundation consciously promotes and encourages the use of these data to extend our knowledge.

Improvement of human well-being and the quality of life is one of the most important and urgent targets of modern science. This can be accomplished through understanding human beings and our society and understanding the principal organ that makes us human, the brain, the most complex organ. A key element to successfully understanding the human brain is the integration of information across different types of measures and disciplines. Using the most sophisticated techniques, brain science measures now range from studies on the genome to those on brain imaging of behavior, under different task conditions and in different clinical conditions. This effort has resulted in large quantities of data, which are ever increasing at higher levels of detail. The data produced are diverse, coming from different levels of study and modalities. In addition, the data may be static or dynamic and at different stages of development across the life span. Current approaches have produced exceedingly large numbers of highly focused research studies. So far, it has not been possible to truly integrate these data, since they are from different subjects and acquired using different methods.

A direct impact of understanding the human brain will be the amelioration and ultimately prevention of brain-related disorders. The World Health Organization, World Bank and Harvard University rank these conditions first in burden in the 21st century. This impact is on both the numbers of individuals affected and the burden to family members and society. Indeed, even today, the cost of brain-related conditions are ten times higher than those associated with cancer. Our capability to achieve new insights into the human brain will set the stage for enhancing the quality of life throughout the world.

To integrate these different types of data for new knowledge about the human brain, open sharing of these data is crucial. The BRAINnet Foundation draws on the principles established in the Human Brain Project, and its globalization via the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility, led by Professor Stephen Koslow (BRAINnet’s inaugural Executive Director). From these principles, to achieve insights into the human brain and wellbeing, the scientific community should openly share data and integrate them into broad new knowledge. The BRAINnet Foundation seeks to address the challenge of integration by providing scientists with open and transparent access to a rich database of diverse information all collected with peer review standardized methods using standardized protocols on the human brain. Integration can now be accomplished across the genome, brain circuity, neurophysiology and neuropsychologhy because all of the assessment methods are objective and standardized. It also seeks to support integration of data with the aid of new analytical and modelling tools, and through neuroinformatics.

The mission of the BRAINnet Foundation is to develop the global community of scientists sharing insights into the human brain and its disorders via the data made available to BRAINnet members.