On variational solutions for whole brain serial-section histology using a Sobolev prior in the computational anatomy random orbit model

PLoS Comput Biol. 2018 Dec 26;14(12):e1006610. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006610. eCollection 2018 Dec.


This paper presents a variational framework for dense diffeomorphic atlas-mapping onto high-throughput histology stacks at the 20 μm meso-scale. The observed sections are modelled as Gaussian random fields conditioned on a sequence of unknown section by section rigid motions and unknown diffeomorphic transformation of a three-dimensional atlas. To regularize over the high-dimensionality of our parameter space (which is a product space of the rigid motion dimensions and the diffeomorphism dimensions), the histology stacks are modelled as arising from a first order Sobolev space smoothness prior. We show that the joint maximum a-posteriori, penalized-likelihood estimator of our high dimensional parameter space emerges as a joint optimization interleaving rigid motion estimation for histology restacking and large deformation diffeomorphic metric mapping to atlas coordinates. We show that joint optimization in this parameter space solves the classical curvature non-identifiability of the histology stacking problem. The algorithms are demonstrated on a collection of whole-brain histological image stacks from the Mouse Brain Architecture Project.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Computational Biology
  • Computer Simulation
  • Histological Techniques
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Mice
  • Models, Anatomic*
  • Models, Neurological
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Software