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Neuroinformatics aims at bridging the gap between experimental neuroscience and computational neuroscience by providing dedicated tools from computer science (databases, analysis tools, visualization tools, …) to allow an optimal data sharing which is a key for the development of data-driven and more realistic models of the brain function. With the diversity of the data generated in neuroscience, going from the genetic and molecular level to cognitive functions and the diversity of acquisition systems, the necessity of developing such tools and standards to describe the data and theoretical models appears crucial for a better integration of these multi-dimensional data and for further understanding of the brain. The International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility or INCF (www.incf.org) was established by the OECD to further the development of neuroinformatics at an international scale. Fourteen countries, including Belgium, currently support this effort through the creation and the development of National Neuroinformatics Node. These nodes are the direct link to the INCF initiative and aim at creating a national infrastructure for neuroinformatics, develop national training, participate to the dissemination of information about neuroinformatics development and participate to the development of specific tools for the neuroscience community .
This portal, managed by the Belgian Neuroinformatics Node, aims first to be a forum for the exchange of information for and by Belgian neuroscientists. The complexity and interdisciplinarity of neuroscience require tools (like portal websites, mailing lists, on-line calendars,...) that encourage and facilitate the wide and rapid distribution of information regarding (Belgian) research groups, available equipment and resources, education and training facilities, news and public events (seminars, courses, PhD defences, ...), neuroscience societies, funding agencies, private enterprises, publication companies, charities and others.
It also provides information on neuroinformatics tools: datasharing of primary scientific data, visualizing data or digital brain atlasing, analysis software, models, ... Over the years, as the INCF develops new standards for data-sharing and new tools, the Belgian Neuroinformatics Node will also provide advice and assistance to research groups looking for Neuroinformatics solutions.
This website is presently hosted by the Laboratory for Theoretical NeuroBiology (University of Antwerp) and sponsored by the FWO.