What is studyforrest?

The human brain is designed to process vast amounts of diverse input that are continuously gathered across the senses. However, most experiments study the brain via simplified stimuli that do little to resemble the complexity of a natural environment — a mismatch that must be addressed if we are to better understand how the brain works.

This project centers around the use of the movie Forrest Gump, which provides complex sensory input that is both reproducible and is also richly laden with real-life-like content and contexts.

Over the last few years, the studyforrest dataset has grown significantly and now encompasses many hours of fMRI scans, structural brain scans, eye-tracking data, and extensive annotations of the movie. Explore our Data Page to more closely examine the data we have available.

Why Should You Use It?

Neuroscience Researchers

This is a one-of-a-kind resource for studying high-level cognition in the human brain under complex, natural stimulation. However, the versatility of the provided data, for some individuals almost ten hours of fMRI data alone, enables studies far beyond this main focus. This covers a vast range from studies of low-level signal properties and brain structure, over sensory integration and attentional processes, to computational modeling of representational spaces and brain area interactions. Take a look the Publications Page to get inspired.

Scientific Developers

The studyforrest project provides ideal reference datasets for brain imaging. It's a comprehensive, modular, multi-modal, real-world dataset — making it an optimal choice when benchmarking algorithms or comparing implementations across projects.

Liberally licensed (PDDL) and hosted across many different services (S3, rsync, OpenfMRI, etc) with fine-grained access options, the studyforrest dataset is easily accessible and is ready to be integrated into your CI infrastructure.

Everyone — and You

Not keen on brain research? This project still has something to offer to you! For example, our ongoing effort to analyze the structure of the movie "Forrest Gump" and annotate its properties continues to expand the breadth of topics that can be explored. Check out the Data Page to see what is already in store.

What we're most interested in, we admit, is that which we cannot anticipate. So please, invent applications and explore ideas you have that we aren't even aware of — yet.... and do tell us about them!

How Have People Been Using It?

"[...] anatomical subdivisions of auditory cortex revealed great functional diversity and lateralization in intensity discrimination [...] naturalistic paradigm [...] improves the ecological validity but also alleviate the discrepancies caused by the differences in stimulus types and task designs in previous studies."

Hu et al., Brain Structure and Function, 2016

"[...] magnetic resonance advection imaging might have future potential to contribute to the modeling of the cerebrovascular system and to serve as a biomarker for cerebrovascular disease."

Voss et al., Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism, 2016

"Our study for the first time demonstrates the insular hierarchy for interoceptive processing during natural emotional experience"

Nguyen et al., NeuroImage, 2015

"This also opens the door for the identification of shared and individual [brain] responses [...] to assess the degree to which functional topography is shared across subjects. We posit that this technique can be adapted to examine an array of situations where group differences are the key experimental variable."

Chen et al, NIPS, 2015