Image Processing and Scientific Visualization are two separate processes within the scientific research lifecycle, yet the two concepts often play off of one another. Image processing refers to the enhancement and transformation of images to prepare them for quantitative analysis. Scientific visualization is the graphical communication of data so that trends and anomalies can be more easily recognized. UVa Research Computing offers many services and resources to help researchers augment their work with image processing and scientific visualization techniques. Image Processing Overview Image processing encompasses a variety of techniques to prepare images for analysis. Researchers often need to remove noise artifacts from their imaging data, or they need to analyze particular regions of interest.
A powerful new technique for quantifying regions of the cerebral cortex was developed by Nick Tustison and James Stone at the University of Virginia along with collaborators from the University of Pennsylvania. It was evaluated using large data sets comprised of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the human brain processed on a high-performance computing cluster at the University of Virginia. By making this technique available as open-source software, other neuroscientists are now able to investigate various hypotheses concerning the relationship between brain structure and development. Tustison’s and Stone’s software has been widely disseminated and is being actively incorporated into a variety of clinical research studies, including a collaborative effort between the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs, exploring the long term effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) among military service members.