Brain annotation toolbox: exploring the functional and genetic associations of neuroimaging results.
Liu Z., Rolls ET., Liu Z., Zhang K., Yang M., Du J., Gong W., Cheng W., Dai F., Wang H., Ugurbil K., Zhang J., Feng J.
MOTIVATION: Advances in neuroimaging and sequencing techniques provide an unprecedented opportunity to map the function of brain regions and identify the roots of psychiatric diseases. However, the results from most neuroimaging studies, i.e., activated clusters/regions or functional connectivities between brain regions, frequently cannot be conveniently and systematically interpreted, rendering the biological meaning unclear. RESULTS: We describe a Brain Annotation Toolbox (BAT) that generates functional and genetic annotations for neuroimaging results. The voxel-level functional description from the Neurosynth database and gene expression profile from the Allen Human Brain Atlas are used to generate functional/genetic information for region-level neuroimaging results. The validity of the approach is demonstrated by showing that the functional and genetic annotations for specific brain regions are consistent with each other; and further the region by region functional similarity network and genetic similarity network are highly correlated for major brain atlases. One application of BAT is to help provide functional/genetic annotations for newly discovered regions with unknown functions, e.g., the 97 new regions identified in the Human Connectome Project. Importantly, this toolbox can help understand differences between psychiatric patients and controls, and this is demonstrated using schizophrenia and autism data, for which the functional and genetic annotations for the neuroimaging changes in patients are consistent with each other and help interpret the results. AVAILABILITY AND IMPLEMENTATION: BAT is implemented as a free and open-source MATLAB toolbox and is publicly available at http://220.127.116.11/softwares. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.