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N. Swoboda,  J. Moosburner,  S. Bruckner,  J. Y. Yu,  B. J. Dickson,  K. Bühler (2016)

Visualization and Quantification for Interactive Analysis of Neural Connectivity in Drosophila

communication medium

Computer Graphics Forum

Abstract

Neurobiologists investigate the brain of the common fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to discover neural circuits and link them to complex behavior. Formulating new hypotheses about connectivity requires potential connectivity information between individual neurons, indicated by overlaps of arborizations of two or more neurons. As the number of higher order overlaps (i.e., overlaps of three or more arborizations) increases exponentially with the number of neurons under investigation, visualization is impeded by clutter and quantification becomes a burden. Existing solutions are restricted to visual or quantitative analysis of pairwise overlaps, as they rely on precomputed overlap data. We present a novel tool that complements existing methods for potential connectivity exploration by providing for the first time the possibility to compute and visualize higher order arborization overlaps on the fly and to interactively explore this information in both its spatial anatomical context and on a quantitative level. Qualitative evaluation by neuroscientists and non-experts demonstrated the utility and usability of the tool

research topic

Keywords

visual analysis, neurobiology

DOI