The AEDAPT project is creating an open national platform for reproducible electrophysiology data analysis and sharing, accessible to all Australian researchers across a wide range of disciplines conducting electrophysiological research.

Recordings of the electrical activity of the human brain are the only way to measure the brain’s activity at the speed at which it occurs. We use the term electrophysiology for a range of related techniques including scalp electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG) and implanted electrodes and electrode arrays. Applications span the biomedical sciences, cognitive, behavioural, social sciences, sports science, human factors, and defence.

Data standards and analytic approaches for electrophysiology have typically been developed in a siloed fashion, with advanced data management standards and processing pipelines developed in some disciplines (e.g. AI and biomedical engineering) yet to be adopted widely in other domains (cognitive, behavioural and social sciences). This presents a barrier to the advancement of Australian electrophysiology research.

AEDAPT is coordinating standards and provenance with Australian Imaging Service (AIS), Australian Characterisation Commons at Scale and projects, guided by international best practice (e.g. International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility, International Brain Initiative, Organization for Human Brain Mapping).

By adapting an open-source community-driven platform that has already been applied at UQ to neuroimaging, and using containers for reproducible analysis pipelines, AEDAPT will make reproducible state-of-the-art analysis tools highly accessible to researchers from universities, industry, and clinical settings wherever they are, including small laboratories, remote regions, and internationally.

Start date 29 January 2021
Expected completion date 30 June 2023
Investment by ARDC $566,527
Lead node
1 Electrophysiology data and metadata standards
AEDAPT supports open standards such as the Brain Imaging Data Structure (BIDS) format, which has recently been extended from neuroimaging to electrophysiology. AEDAPT will include integrated tools to convert from proprietary electrophysiology formats to BIDS and manipulate, interrogate and share data with FAIR principles.
2 Electrophysiology & Crossmodal Container Library
An online library of containerised advanced electrophysiology analysis software, along with domain-specific and general machine learning libraries used in the field. Crucially, integration with AIS, BrainLife, DataLad and the BIDS standard will allow for crossmodal pipelines and tools to be containerised, providing: high resolution electrophysiology modeling; integration of diffusion MRI measures of structural connectivity with electrophysiology measures of functional connectivity; and visualisation with state of the art multimodal visualisation tools.
The core is Neurodesk: a user-friendly desktop environment for electrophysiology and related behavioural and psychophysiological data analysis and processing that enables low-latency interactive analysis on user PCs, or deployment on HPC and other platforms. The modular architecture simplifies usage and the setup drastically lowers the barrier for entry for less-technical users by providing a desktop user interface to neuroscience applications within a standard browser, with built-in Python and MATLAB installation and easy connectivity with the user’s chosen data storage.
4 Neurodesk interoperability
This platform will bring the tools to the researcher. Neurodesk will be interoperable with Australian Imaging Service (AIS), Characterisation Virtual Lab (CVL) and Containerisation allows the system to run on existing infrastructure, from desktops to cloud VMs to HPCs, without the need to constrain users to any single platform while providing equivalent user-experience on these platforms, saving on migration costs and student/staff training.
5 Training and Community engagement
Ease of use and community connection are key components of the AEDAPT project. Training workshops and interactive online tutorials will support researchers to easily transition from interactive desktop computing to containerised, fully reproducible HPC analysis. A combined community event will facilitate cooperation between AIS, CVL, AEDAPT and other related communities.

Core features

Data provenance
AEDAPT will adopt data provenance features of BIDS, as well as tools such as DataLad that record changes to files throughout processing. The integration will provide a versioned record of containers utilised for every analysis stage.
Neurodesk will be interoperable with Australian Imaging Service (AIS), Characterisation Virtual Lab (CVL) and BrainLife; as it is not tied to a specific platform, analysis workflows developed using our architecture are easily shared with international collaborators and industrial partners.
Ease of use
The platform is built around making the transition from interactive desktop computing to reproducible containerised workflows and High Performance Computing easy and intuitive.

Who is this project for?

  • Researchers
  • Clinicians
  • Trainees

What does this project enable?

By making AEDAPT interoperable with other analysis platforms such as the Australian Imaging Service (AIS), Characterisation Virtual Lab (CVL) and BrainLife, AEDAPT will act as a catalyst for scaling up of electrophysiology and multimodal neuroimaging research to the large national and international collaborative research projects addressing major challenges such as epilepsy, stroke, traumatic brain injury and dementia. Crucially, it will bring high-performance analysis to researchers wherever they happen to be without the need for expensive infrastructure.

Swinburne University of TechnologyVisit
University of QueenslandVisit
University of SydneyVisit
National Imaging FacilityVisit
Australian Brain AllianceVisit
Oracle for Research Visit