Entry Date:
August 3, 2009

Detecting Patterns in MRI

Principal Investigator Nancy Kanwisher

Professor Kanwisher will work with Navia Systems Inc, a startup company founded by former MIT students in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Navia uses proprietary computational methods, licensed from MIT, to identify patterns in large complex datasets and assign significance to them. Navia seeks to develop algorithms to detect patterns in large, complex data sets, such as neural imaging studies. The algorithms look for clusters that exist within the data without any prior assumptions. For example, does the category 'animal' activate one tight cluster or a million scattered points? How do patterns for bats, birds and cats differ? These algorithms will help reveal how the brain classifies the world, and could enhance the study of brain disorders, for example by identifying relationships between brain activity, genetics and clinical diagnostic categories. It could also be adapted to other fields, such as seismic data to locate oil fields.