Developed by Arnaud Delorme, Ramon Martinez, and Scott Makeig of UC San Diego's Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience (SCCN) in collaboration with SDSC researchers Amitava Majumdar, Subhashini Sivagnanam, and Kenneth Yoshimoto, a first report on the Open EEGLAB portal was presented at the March 2019 International IEEE EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering in San Francisco.
In this report, Arnaud Delorme and Scott Makeig build on their collaboration with the Child Mind Institute Healthy Brain Network (HBN) project to demonstrate how high-performance computing (HPC) can be used for effective analysis of large EEG datasets. To date, difficulties in relating scalp recordings to activities in specific brain structures, individual differences in head and brain shapes and sizes, and difficulty in harnessing sufficient computer power have discouraged researchers from attempting sophisticated source-level analysis of very large data sets.
With a goal of better understanding human brain development, the HBN project is currently collecting brain scans and EEG recordings, as well as other behavioral data from 10,000 New York City children and young adults - the largest such sample ever collected.
"We hope to use portals such as the EEGLAB to process this data so that we can learn more about biological markers of mental health and learning disorders in our youngest patients", stated HBN Director Michael Milham.
The report by Arnaud Delorme and colleagues demonstrates that source-level analyses of brain dynamics are now feasible and can become routine in the near future, as continuing advances in machine learning methods are applied to an ever wider range of biological data.
"One of the key players of our study was UC San Diego undergraduate student Brian Rojas, who determined how to efficiently download the Child Mind data and set it up on Comet for processing", stated Amitava Majumdar. "Brian, who is funded by the National Science Foundation's SciGap project, has been learning about NSG's backend software and usage modes of neuroscientists as they use NSG, helped us develop and execute the data download processing script on Comet."
Arnaud Delorme, Scott Makeig, and Amitava Majumdar hope to be able to tie the EEGLAB Portal and NSG to the growing National Institutes of Health (NIH) human brain imaging data archive, under a recent proposal. "The initiative would create a portal for archiving and analyzing EEG and related data collected from the NIH and other research projects around the world", explained Arnaud Delorme. "The Child Mind data now being analyzed at SDSC is an important seed for the envisioned archive."
The Open EEGLAB Portal project is supported by NIH grant 5R01EB023297.