This thesis is inspired by Neuroinformatics, which is a new national and international activity. Neuroinformatics is a growing field defined in a report from the OECD MegaScience Forum. Neuroinformatics is interdisciplinary, combining research in neuroscience and informatics (including computation) with the aim to develop and apply advanced tools and approaches needed for understanding the brain. In the study of the competence and flexibility of the brain, neuroinformatics research is uniquely placed at the intersection of medical, biological, and behavioural science, the physical sciences, computer science, mathematics and engineering. The resultant synergy from combining these approaches is expected to accelerate scientific and technological progress, resulting in major medical, social, and economic benefits.
I discuss neuroinformatics in view of information infrastructure research, with open, enabling, shared, heterogeneous and socio-technical properties. Realization of a neuroinformatical information infrastructure involves fundamental changes in neurocientific research practice. There will be a need for standardized ways to structure and annotate data and tools. In addition quality criteria are needed to facilitate sharing across neuroscientific communities.
I have analyzed Neural Systems and Graphics Computing Laboratory (NeSys), in the Department of Anatomy at the University of Oslo, to exemplify the practical aspects of the neuroinformatical vision. I conclude by giving recommendations on future activities in neuroinformatics.