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.
Note, we are proud that parts of the NeuroLex will be serving as the Knowledge Space for the Human Brain Project, HBP. What does this mean to contributors of terms? Terms contributed to NeuroLex will be part of the annotation set for HBP data. The identifiers from NeuroLex and the many community ontologies represented will be preserved and the NeuroLex will continue to exist as a place where ontologies are easy to view and edit, but may become wrapped into the knowledge space as part of the transition to HBP.
*Note: Neurolex imports many terms and their ids from existing community ontologies, e.g., the Gene Ontology. Neurolex, however, 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.