Neuromantic - from semi-manual to semi-automatic reconstruction of neuron morphology

Front Neuroinform. 2012 Mar 16:6:4. doi: 10.3389/fninf.2012.00004. eCollection 2012.


The ability to create accurate geometric models of neuronal morphology is important for understanding the role of shape in information processing. Despite a significant amount of research on automating neuron reconstructions from image stacks obtained via microscopy, in practice most data are still collected manually. This paper describes Neuromantic, an open source system for three dimensional digital tracing of neurites. Neuromantic reconstructions are comparable in quality to those of existing commercial and freeware systems while balancing speed and accuracy of manual reconstruction. The combination of semi-automatic tracing, intuitive editing, and ability of visualizing large image stacks on standard computing platforms provides a versatile tool that can help address the reconstructions availability bottleneck. Practical considerations for reducing the computational time and space requirements of the extended algorithm are also discussed.

Keywords: LiveWire; computational neuroscience; morphology; neuromantic; neuronal reconstruction.