In the Forest of the Mind

Using Neurolucida, microscopy, and mice genetically engineered to express a random amount of red, yellow, and blue fluorescent proteins, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology researcher Hermina Nedelescu has created a fascinating and hypnotic movie of neurons. Nedelescu and colleagues at the Institute’s Computational Neuroscience Unit used Neurolucida and its Virtual Tissue 3D Extension Module and Montaging tools to acquire and stitch together multiple images of Purkinje cells—large neurons  that form elongated branching structures called “dendritic trees”—into a recording showing each tree from different angles and visual locations. As you move around and through the video, the traced cells, highlighted by the “Brainbow” coloring, show the complexity of the structures and location and how the Purkinje cells relate to each other.

Visit the  OIST Computational Neuroscience Unit page for more information on their work.

Movie by Hermina Nedelescu of the OIST Computational Neuroscience Unit (Erik De Schutter, Principal Investigator), in collaboration with Alanna Watt of McGill University, Canada, and Hermann Cuntz of Goethe University, Germany.

This article was edited to add mention of the Montaging tool.

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