Developing Brain Atlas through Deep Learning

07/10/2018 ∙ by Asim Iqbal, et al. ∙ 6

To uncover the organizational principles governing the human brain, neuroscientists are in need of developing high-throughput methods that can explore the structure and function of distinct brain regions using animal models. The first step towards this goal is to accurately register the regions of interest in a mouse brain, against a standard reference atlas, with minimum human supervision. The second step is to scale this approach to different animal ages, so as to also allow insights into normal and pathological brain development and aging. We introduce here a fully automated convolutional neural network-based method (SeBRe) for registration through Segmenting Brain Regions of interest in mice at different ages. We demonstrate the validity of our method on different mouse brain post-natal (P) developmental time points, across a range of neuronal markers. Our method outperforms the existing brain registration methods, and provides the minimum mean squared error (MSE) score on a mouse brain dataset. We propose that our deep learning-based registration method can (i) accelerate brain-wide exploration of region-specific changes in brain development and (ii) replace the existing complex brain registration methodology, by simply segmenting brain regions of interest for high-throughput brain-wide analysis.

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