Interactive mouse brain atlas helps researchers share data

A software suite charts individual neurons and their connections across the mouse brain via a web-based platform1. The maps could help scientists study neuronal connections in mouse models of autism.

Several large-scale efforts have mapped mouse brain-cell types and the connections among them. But each one organizes, visualizes and processes data differently, making efforts to translate them into sharable digital maps laborious.

The new platform allows scientists to upload their mouse brain-imaging data and visualize individual cells, their connections and gene expression patterns in a standardized atlas. Scientists then can easily share data and results with collaborators.

The software can work with images captured via widefield, confocal or light-sheet fluorescent microscopy, and does not require programming experience to use.

It can layer different types of information, so scientists can simultaneously compare cell types, the connections between neurons and neuronal activity (as revealed by gene expression patterns in the tissue). It can also locate features in imaging data, such as cell bodies and fiber tracts, by mapping them to coordinates in the Allen Institute’s Mouse Brain Atlas.

Delineating districts: The tool can also mark the boundaries of different brain regions on microscopy images.

Scientists can visualize these matched data as a graphic overlay on their original images or on a digital version of the reference brain.  The researchers described the tool 4 December in Nature Neuroscience.

To demonstrate the software, the researchers used data from mice given an injection of cocaine. Brain sections from the mice revealed increased neuronal activity in an area called the orbitofrontal cortex, which integrates sensory information and is involved in decision-making.

Adding the images to the reference atlas reveals connections between the orbital cortex and two other regions: the primary motor cortex, which controls movement, and the striatum, part of the brain’s reward system. The connections make up a circuit that mediates cocaine’s effects, including the ‘high’ and increased movement.

The post Interactive mouse brain atlas helps researchers share data appeared first on Spectrum | Autism Research News.

Order by: 
Per page:
  • There are no comments yet
Related Feed Entries
The ability to identify human-like movements is rooted in genetics — and may share those origins with autism traits, a study of 117 twin pairs in China suggests1. The ability to interpret other people’s movements is important for understanding others’ intentions and making social connections. People…
22 hours ago · From Spectrum News
This is being called a "potential breakthrough."Source: The Autism Site
22 hours ago · From The Autism Site
Women who take acetaminophen early in pregnancy may increase their risk of having a child with language delay — but only if the child is a girl, a new study suggests1. Experts warn that the findings are preliminary, however, and far from having clinical value. Acetaminophen, commonly marketed as Tyl…
3 days ago · From Spectrum News
An algorithm combs through genetic data to identify variants involved in autism and four other brain conditions1. The method expands on an older approach called transmission and de novo association (TADA), which combines information about inherited and spontaneous mutations to identify risk genes. L…
4 days ago · From Spectrum News
The post Ultrasound exposure; maternal age; ‘special’ interests and more appeared first on Spectrum | Autism Research News. Source: Spectrum News
4 days ago · From Spectrum News
0 votes
11.02.2018 (10 days ago)
0 Subscribers