NeuroLines: A Subway Map Metaphor for Visualizing Nanoscale Neuronal Connectivity

Ali Al-Awami, Johanna Beyer, Hendrik Strobelt, Narayanan Kasthuri, Jeff Lichtman, Hanspeter Pfister, Markus Hadwiger

We introduce NeuroLines, a novel tool designed for visualizing neuronal morphology and connectivity at the nanoscale level. NeuroLines uses a subway map metaphor to abstract the topology of 3D brain tissue data into a multi-scale, relative distance-preserving 2D visualization. This allows domain scientists to conduct an interactive analysis of neurons and their connectivity. Nanoscale connectomics attempts to reverse-engineer the wiring diagram of the brain. This task, coupled with the task of analyzing the detailed connectivity of neurites (axons, dendrites), is crucial to understanding the brain, its development and pathologies. However, the main challenge with such tasks is the enormous scale, complexity and visual clutter of nanoscale connectivity. This makes it difficult for existing visualization techniques to render such data in a meaningful way. NeuroLines offers a scalable visualization platform that can interactively render thousands of neurites in an uncluttered fashion, paired with interactive features to support the detail analysis of neuronal connectivity and structure.

BioVis 2014 Information

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