Neuroimaging Compute Facility

Recent advances in neuroimaging have greatly enhanced understanding of the brain and mind. With these developments come continually growing computational demands and challenges.  From increases in the sheer volume of data due to improvements in spatial and temporal resolution, to the complexities of integrating neuroimaging data sets derived from multiple imaging modalities with behavioral and genetic information, the computational requirements for teaching, data analysis, storage, visualization, sharing/availability and security demand ever advancing resources and expertise. 

The Neuroimaging Compute Facility (NCF) is a central enabling infrastructure for neuroimaging teaching and research whose mission is to provide high performance, high power, robust, reliable and secure computer systems and human expertise to meet the challenges of neuroimaging research and teaching. Students and researchers interested in using the NCF must sign up for a User Account. The NCF is a collaboration between the Center for Brain Science and FAS Research Computing.

For answers to frequently asked questions about using the NCF, click here for our FAQ page.



 Under construction    


Data Analysis:

Common tools for data analysis are available and updated regularly. Licenses and software packages for data analysis include Analyze, FreeSurfer, FIV, FSL, MatLab, and SPM. In addition, a developing shared resource will house common processing scripts and tutorials for neuroimaging data analysis, including merged atlases for analysis of older adults and children, as well as innovative procedures for high resolution data analysis and surface visualization. To access these software tools, register for an NCF computer account.

Neuroinformatics tools:

– The eXtensible Neuroimaging Archive Toolkit
The XNAT database provides infrastructure for neuroimaging data management and data sharing (

oasis - Open Access Series of Imaging Studies
Open access data for teaching and research: Freely available data provides opportunities for those learning to explore analysis tools and become familiar with neuroimaging research. Such data are also important to methods development and novel discovery. A continually growing data library is provided for the Harvard community and other interested individuals (


High-Performance Workstations

The NCF system is a secure private network. Dedicated high-performance workstations are set up and maintained by NCF staff for data management and image analysis. You may access the system via one of the designated terminals located in the MRI suite area in Northwest B4, in the Northwest office suite 280-295 area, and at the Center for Brain Science Neuroimaging pod on the second floor of William James Hall. Remote access can be achieved via the NCF Virtual Private Network (VPN - not the Harvard FAS VPN), or the SSH gateway. Instructions for setting up external access, including a list of workstation names, will be emailed to new users with their account information.



  • For assistance with IT related issues (including registering your computer with the Harvard network, workstations, wireless concerns etc.), or questions about using the NCF, contact: rchelp [at] fas [dot] harvard [dot] edu
    Please provide as much detail as possible so that the Helpdesk staff can triage your problem quickly.