A core ontology of instruments used for neurological, behavioral and cognitive assessments

Abstract

Neurosciences are progressively moving into a mass computational intensive era with the fusion of numerous large heterogeneous data sets from cellular to system level. To process and share this mass of information in a consistent and computational amenable form, computerized techniques – among them, ontologies are currently designed to store, analyze and access this information. Recently, we proposed a multi-layered and multi-components ontology to deal with MR images and regions-of-interest that can be represented onto the images. In the present paper, we extend our initial ontology by adding a core ontology of subject data acquisition instruments modeling neuroclinical, neuropsychological and neurobehavioral tests used for neurological, behavioral and cognitive skills assessment. This ontology deals with instruments per se as specific artefacts, their variables and measured scores, and actions performed using instruments. In the paper, we underline the major aspects of our approach and emphasize its potential interest as a semantic reference for various neuroscience applications.

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