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Perspective ARTICLE

Front. Neuroinform., 20 June 2014 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fninf.2014.00062

Interdisciplinary perspectives on the development, integration, and application of cognitive ontologies

  • 1European Molecular Biology Laboratory – European Bioinformatics Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, UK
  • 2Department of Philosophy and Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, University of Geneva, Switzerland
  • 3Evolutionary Bioinformatics, Swiss Institute for Bioinformatics, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 4Department of Psychology/Neuroscience Institute, Georgia State University, GA, USA
  • 5Department of Philosophy and National Center for Ontological Research, University at Buffalo, NY, USA
  • 6Imaging Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, TX, USA
  • 7Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, TX, USA
  • 8Department of Neuroscience, University of Texas at Austin, TX, USA
  • 9Neuroinformatics Framework Project, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA
  • 10Mind Research Network, Albuquerque, NM, USA

We discuss recent progress in the development of cognitive ontologies and summarize three challenges in the coordinated development and application of these resources. Challenge 1 is to adopt a standardized definition for cognitive processes. We describe three possibilities and recommend one that is consistent with the standard view in cognitive and biomedical sciences. Challenge 2 is harmonization. Gaps and conflicts in representation must be resolved so that these resources can be combined for mark-up and interpretation of multi-modal data. Finally, Challenge 3 is to test the utility of these resources for large-scale annotation of data, search and query, and knowledge discovery and integration. As term definitions are tested and revised, harmonization should enable coordinated updates across ontologies. However, the true test of these definitions will be in their community-wide adoption which will test whether they support valid inferences about psychological and neuroscientific data.

Keywords: ontology, cognition, mental functioning, neuroscience, annotation, integration, big data, brain science

Citation: Hastings J, Frishkoff GA, Smith B, Jensen M, Poldrack RA, Lomax J, Bandrowski A, Imam F, Turner JA and Martone ME (2014) Interdisciplinary perspectives on the development, integration, and application of cognitive ontologies. Front. Neuroinform. 8:62. doi: 10.3389/fninf.2014.00062

Received: 25 November 2013; Accepted: 02 June 2014;
Published online: 20 June 2014.

Edited by:

Sean L. Hill, International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility, Sweden

Reviewed by:

Mihail Bota, University of Southern California, USA
Tjeerd Olde Scheper, Oxford Brookes University, UK

Copyright © 2014 Hastings, Frishkoff, Smith, Jensen, Poldrack, Lomax, Bandrowski, Imam, Turner and Martone. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Janna Hastings, European Molecular Biology Laboratory – European Bioinformatics Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, CB10 1SD, UK e-mail: hastings@ebi.ac.uk