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Colorful brains: 14 years of display practice in functional neuroimaging


Christen, Markus; Vitacco, Deborah A; Huber, Lara; Harboe, Julie; Fabrikant, Sara I; Brugger, Peter (2013). Colorful brains: 14 years of display practice in functional neuroimaging. NeuroImage, 73:30-39.

Abstract

Neuroimaging results are typically graphically rendered and color-coded, which influences the process of knowledge generation within neuroscience as well as the public perception of brain research. Analyzing these issues requires empirical information on the display practice in neuroimaging. In our study we evaluated more than 9000 functional images (fMRI and PET) published between 1996 and 2009 with respect to the use of color, image structure, image production software and other factors that may determine the display practice. We demonstrate a variety of display styles despite a remarkable dominance of few image production sites and software systems, outline some tendencies of standardization, and identify shortcomings with respect to color scale explication in neuroimages. We discuss the importance of the finding for knowledge production in neuroimaging, and we make suggestions to improve the display practice in neuroimaging, especially on regimes of color coding.

Abstract

Neuroimaging results are typically graphically rendered and color-coded, which influences the process of knowledge generation within neuroscience as well as the public perception of brain research. Analyzing these issues requires empirical information on the display practice in neuroimaging. In our study we evaluated more than 9000 functional images (fMRI and PET) published between 1996 and 2009 with respect to the use of color, image structure, image production software and other factors that may determine the display practice. We demonstrate a variety of display styles despite a remarkable dominance of few image production sites and software systems, outline some tendencies of standardization, and identify shortcomings with respect to color scale explication in neuroimages. We discuss the importance of the finding for knowledge production in neuroimaging, and we make suggestions to improve the display practice in neuroimaging, especially on regimes of color coding.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neurology
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:June 2013
Deposited On:07 Oct 2013 13:15
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:01
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1053-8119
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.01.068
PubMed ID:23403183

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