Large-scale Exploration of Neuronal Morphologies Using Deep Learning and Augmented Reality. Academic Article uri icon


  • Recently released large-scale neuron morphological data has greatly facilitated the research in neuroinformatics. However, the sheer volume and complexity of these data pose significant challenges for efficient and accurate neuron exploration. In this paper, we propose an effective retrieval framework to address these problems, based on frontier techniques of deep learning and binary coding. For the first time, we develop a deep learning based feature representation method for the neuron morphological data, where the 3D neurons are first projected into binary images and then learned features using an unsupervised deep neural network, i.e., stacked convolutional autoencoders (SCAEs). The deep features are subsequently fused with the hand-crafted features for more accurate representation. Considering the exhaustive search is usually very time-consuming in large-scale databases, we employ a novel binary coding method to compress feature vectors into short binary codes. Our framework is validated on a public data set including 58,000 neurons, showing promising retrieval precision and efficiency compared with state-of-the-art methods. In addition, we develop a novel neuron visualization program based on the techniques of augmented reality (AR), which can help users take a deep exploration of neuron morphologies in an interactive and immersive manner.

published proceedings

  • Neuroinformatics

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Li, Z., Butler, E., Li, K., Lu, A., Ji, S., & Zhang, S.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Li, Zhongyu||Butler, Erik||Li, Kang||Lu, Aidong||Ji, Shuiwang||Zhang, Shaoting

publication date

  • October 2018