A new open dataset for studying the brain


In a nutshell: The publicly accessible Monash rsPET-MR dataset will help researchers to understand network dynamics in the brain.

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A new open dataset for studying the brain

The Monash rsPET-MR dataset was generated by Brain Function CoE investigators Sharna Jamadar and Phillip Ward, in collaboration with colleagues from Monash University and Siemens Healthineers.

It includes data on brain activity that was captured from 27 healthy young adults using two methods applied simultaneously. These methods measure the two main sources of energy in the brain. The ‘rs’ in the dataset name refers to ‘resting state’, as the volunteers were measured as they lay awake with their eyes open.

BOLD-fMRI (blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging) measures oxygen use in the brain. FDG-PET ([18 F]-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography) measures glucose use in the brain. The team used a new technique, ‘constant infusion’, which allows a PET measure to be taken every 16 seconds. The standard approach can take 10–30 minutes to provide a single PET measure.

Using these two techniques simultaneously, the physiological processes underlying brain activity can be examined from multiple sources at the same time. This approach can also be used to measure changes in brain activity in response to certain tasks or at different stages of rest.

Since simultaneous fPET-fMRI is a new technology, few biomedical imaging facilities worldwide have produced datasets like this one. As a result, the researchers have publicly released the Monash rsPET-MR dataset for the use of the neuroimaging community. It is freely available from the OpenNeuro repository.

Researchers in the brain imaging community can use this unique dataset to understand the relationship between oxygen and glucose use during dynamic brain function. They can also use it to develop new methods and scientific discoveries.

Next steps:
The team is now exploring how to provide the dataset to the community in a standardised format, to make it easier to use the data.

Jamadar, S. D., Ward, P. G. D., Close, T. G., Fornito, A., Premaratne, M., O’Brien, K., Stäb, D., Chen, Z., Shah, N. J., Egan, G. F. (2020). Simultaneous BOLD-fMRI and constant infusion FDG-PET data of the resting human brain. Scientific Data, 7, 363. doi: 10.1038/s41597-020-00699-5

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