Schizophrenia spurs imaging network

Research into the neural underpinnings of schizophrenia is set to take a big cyberstep forward. A $10.9 million federal grant awarded to scientists at University of California campuses in San Diego and Irvine will be used to create a massive database of brain images from several hundred people with schizophrenia, as well as from a comparable number of individuals with no mental disorders, the two universities announced. The images will come from 10 research sites nationwide.

The pooling of such a vast amount of computerized brain data will give researchers an unprecedented opportunity to share and compare their findings. Scientists coordinating the new brain-imaging network, led by Irvine psychiatrist Steven G. Potkin, will also develop new software to combine and analyze data from different sites.

Potkin’s group plans to operate the brain-imaging database through a federally funded, high-speed computer network established in 2001 by a group of biomedical-research centers.


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Bruce Bower has written about the behavioral sciences for Science News since 1984. He writes about psychology, anthropology, archaeology and mental health issues.

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