Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Recent studies have suggested that astrocytes exert proactive regulatory effects on brain information processing and that they are deeply involved in normal brain development and disease pathology. Recording astrocyte activity is now technically feasible, due to recent advances in modern microscopy and ultrasensitive cell-type specific genetically encoded Ca2+ indicators for long-time imaging. However, there is a big gap between the data generation and methods of understanding the data. Indeed, current practice is essentially manual, which not only limits analysis throughput but also risks introducing bias and missing important information latent in complex, dynamic big data. In this talk, I will discuss our recent work on this problem. For those who are interested in biology, I will demonstrate how our work can be used to assist your study of decoding the functional roles of astrocyte in brain. For those who are interested in the algorithm and tool development, I will show you how the astrocyte activity analysis is a booming research area and how the problem can serve as a motivating example for generic algorithm development.