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Awesome fMRI software

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measures brain activity. It is widely used in academic science for studying the mind and brain as well as mental disorders such as schizophrenia and depression. The human eye cannot make out much from the images produced by fMRI (unlike structural MRI). Instead, fMRI data require sophisticated analysis. Learning this analysis is two to three times harder than it needs to be because current fMRI analysis software is cumbersome and really good teaching resources are lacking. The same cumbersome software also makes analysis slower and puts some severe, unnecessary limitations on what experienced fMRI analysts can do.

Our fMRI analysis software will allow someone to learn the analysis and perform analyses more quickly than current offerings. In our software, each step of the analysis process will be streamlined, optimized, and enhanced to minimize unnecessary difficulty and maximize access to the fMRI data in a graphical environment that does not require programming skills to use. This is analagous to how a Dyson vacuum is better than every other vacuum due to a host of superior design designs. As much as possible, our software will be self-explanatory and learnable just by using it. In addition, we will provide excellent multi-media tutorials for new-comers.

We will sell our software on a subscription model: $200 / year for one copy. Most existing fMRI software was written by scientists in their spare time and is available for free. Most fMRI scientists use Windows or Mac, and on these platforms, most free fMRI software runs inside the Matlab programming environment, which is NOT free (about $100 / year for one copy). The price of $200 / year was chosen to be higher but not too much higher than the price of a Matlab subscription. Our customers will be academic professors. (The students and research assistants who actually use fMRI software do not make the purchasing decisions.) We must convince professors that our software will save them money. Student and research assistant salaries range from $1000 to $4000 / month. There is high turn-over, particularly among students (obviously). Enabling students and research assistants to learn the analysis faster and perform analyses faster will save salary money.

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