The NeuroLex project, supported by the Neuroscience Information Framework project, is a dynamic lexicon of neuroscience terms. Unlike an encyclopedia, a lexicon provides the meaning of a term, and not all there is to know about it.
The NeuroLex is being constructed to help improve the way that neuroscientists communicate about their data, so that information systems like the NIF can find data more easily and provide more powerful means of integrating data that occur across distributed resources. One of the big roadblocks to data integration in neuroscience is the inconsistent use of terminology in databases and other resources like the literature. When we use the same terms to mean different things, we cannot easily ask questions that span across multiple resources. For example, if three databases have information about what genes are expressed in cortex, but they all use different definitions of cerebral cortex, then we cannot compare them easily.
*Neurolex imports many terms from existing community ontologies, e.g., the Gene Ontology. We try to re-use the original identifier when possible and often import content from the original ontology. However, Neurolex is a dynamic site and any content beyond the identifier should not be presumed to reflect the content or views of the source ontology. Users should consult with the authoritative source for each ontology for current information.