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September 2018 Statistical shape analysis of simplified neuronal trees
Adam Duncan, Eric Klassen, Anuj Srivastava
Ann. Appl. Stat. 12(3): 1385-1421 (September 2018). DOI: 10.1214/17-AOAS1107


Neuron morphology plays a central role in characterizing cognitive health and functionality of brain structures. The problem of quantifying neuron shapes and capturing statistical variability of shapes is difficult because neurons differ both in geometry and in topology. This paper develops a mathematical representation of neuronal trees, restricting to the trees that consist of: (1) a main branch viewed as a parameterized curve in $\mathbb{R}^{3}$, and (2) some number of secondary branches—also parameterized curves in $\mathbb{R}^{3}$—which emanate from the main branch at arbitrary points. It imposes a metric on the representation space, in order to compare neuronal shapes, and to obtain optimal deformations (geodesics) across arbitrary trees. The key idea is to impose certain equivalence relations that allow trees with different geometries and topologies to be compared efficiently. The combinatorial problem of matching side branches across trees is reduced to a linear assignment with well-known efficient solutions. This framework is then applied to comparing, clustering, and classifying neurons using fully automated algorithms. The framework is illustrated on three datasets of neuron reconstructions, specifically showing geodesics paths and cross-validated classification between experimental groups.


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Adam Duncan. Eric Klassen. Anuj Srivastava. "Statistical shape analysis of simplified neuronal trees." Ann. Appl. Stat. 12 (3) 1385 - 1421, September 2018.


Received: 1 August 2016; Revised: 1 October 2017; Published: September 2018
First available in Project Euclid: 11 September 2018

zbMATH: 06979636
MathSciNet: MR3852682
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/17-AOAS1107

Rights: Copyright © 2018 Institute of Mathematical Statistics


Vol.12 • No. 3 • September 2018
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