Visualization and Interaction Techniques for the Exploration of the Fruit Fly's Neural Structure

Information

  • Publication Type: Ongoing Master Thesis
  • Workgroup(s)/Project(s): not specified
  • Date: ongoing
  • Matrikelnummer: 0425828
  • First Supervisor: Meister Eduard Gröller

Abstract

The common fruit fly Drosophila Melanogaster has for decades proven to be a valuable research subject due to its availability and powerful genomic variabilities.

In the field of neurobiology it has become a popular tool to study the relation between neural structures and complex behavior. At the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna (IMP), Barry Dickson and his team study the Drosophila based on brain scans acquired via confocal light microscopy of cellular resolution.

They have accumulated an extensive digital atlas of brain images and neuron annotations. The VRVis research company and the IMP have delevoped a software infrastructure for data management, data mining, and visualization of neural structures of the fruit fly Drosophila Melanogaster. The visualization software BrainGazer offers scientists a system to manage and explore the digital atlas.[VRVis 2013] It implements various tools for visualizing the Drosophila¿s neural structures, and assists in finding neural circuits. It facilitates neurobiologists to investigate correlations between specific neural circuits and complex behavior. The system offers three-dimensional visualizations of neural structures and visual queries in the spatial domain.

The brain scans are analyzed to find possible connectivities between neurons. This overlap information between arborizations (dendrites of the nerve cells) is the focus of the thesis. Scientists use overlap information to decide where important neural circuits may exists. The discovery of such connectivities is of high interest for Dickson and his team and has previously lead to valued results. [Yu et al. 2010][Philipsborn et al. 2011]

Judith Moosburner [Moosburner et al. 2011], in cooperation with the neuroscientists at the IMP, has developed a design scheme to improve visualization of neuronal connectivity. It is oriented to visualize overlap information in an effective way, i.e. by introducing abstract representations of overlaps and intelligent use of color and interactivity. Additional information will be available via mouse over and an interactive menu. In the course of this master thesis, the design will be implemented in the BrainGazer system.

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BibTeX

@runmasterthesis{Swoboda_Nicolas_VIT,
  title =      "Visualization and Interaction Techniques for the Exploration
               of the Fruit Fly's Neural Structure",
  author =     "Nicolas Swoboda",
  abstract =   "The common fruit fly Drosophila Melanogaster has for decades
               proven to be a valuable research subject due to its
               availability and powerful genomic variabilities.  In the
               field of neurobiology it has become a popular tool to study
               the relation between neural structures and complex behavior.
               At the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna (IMP),
               Barry Dickson and his team study the Drosophila based on
               brain scans acquired via confocal light microscopy of
               cellular resolution.  They have accumulated an extensive
               digital atlas of brain images and neuron annotations.  The
               VRVis research company and the IMP have delevoped a software
               infrastructure for data management, data mining, and
               visualization of neural structures of the fruit fly
               Drosophila Melanogaster. The visualization software
               BrainGazer offers scientists a system to manage and explore
               the digital atlas.[VRVis 2013] It implements various tools
               for visualizing the Drosophila¿s neural structures, and
               assists in finding neural circuits. It facilitates
               neurobiologists to investigate correlations between specific
               neural circuits and complex behavior. The system offers
               three-dimensional visualizations of neural structures and
               visual queries in the spatial domain.  The brain scans are
               analyzed to find possible connectivities between neurons.
               This overlap information between arborizations (dendrites of
               the nerve cells) is the focus of the thesis. Scientists use
               overlap information to decide where important neural
               circuits may exists. The discovery of such connectivities is
               of high interest for Dickson and his team and has previously
               lead to valued results.  [Yu et al. 2010][Philipsborn et al.
               2011]  Judith Moosburner [Moosburner et al. 2011], in
               cooperation with the neuroscientists at the IMP, has
               developed a design scheme to improve visualization of
               neuronal connectivity. It is oriented to visualize overlap
               information in an effective way, i.e. by introducing
               abstract representations of overlaps and intelligent use of
               color and interactivity. Additional information will be
               available via mouse over and an interactive menu. In the
               course of this master thesis, the design will be implemented
               in the BrainGazer system.",
  URL =        "/research/publications/ongoing/Swoboda_Nicolas_VIT/",
}