Crowd-Sourcing Comes to Brain Research!

Dear Commons Community,

The New York Times today has an article describing the work of hundreds of brain researchers who are collaborating and using crowd-sourcing techniques to share their activities via Internet technology.   The article states:

“In the largest collaborative study of the brain to date, scientists using imaging technology at more than 100 centers worldwide have for the first time zeroed in on genes that they agree play a role in intelligence and memory.

Scientists working to understand the biology of brain function — and especially those using brain imaging, a blunt tool — have been badly stalled. But the new work, involving more than 200 scientists, lays out a strategy for breaking the logjam. The findings appear in a series of papers published online Sunday in the journal Nature Genetics.

“What’s really new here is this movement toward crowd-sourcing brain research,” said Paul Thompson, a professor of neurology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and senior author of one of the papers. “This is an example of social networking in science, and it gives us a power we have not had.”

Crowd-sourcing has its proponents as well as questioners.   Regardless I think we will see more of this type of collaboration especially as researchers become more comfortable using social networking technologies.




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