TeraVR empowers precise reconstruction of complete 3-D neuronal morphology in the whole brain

Nat Commun. 2019 Aug 2;10(1):3474. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-11443-y.


Neuron morphology is recognized as a key determinant of cell type, yet the quantitative profiling of a mammalian neuron's complete three-dimensional (3-D) morphology remains arduous when the neuron has complex arborization and long projection. Whole-brain reconstruction of neuron morphology is even more challenging as it involves processing tens of teravoxels of imaging data. Validating such reconstructions is extremely laborious. We develop TeraVR, an open-source virtual reality annotation system, to address these challenges. TeraVR integrates immersive and collaborative 3-D visualization, interaction, and hierarchical streaming of teravoxel-scale images. Using TeraVR, we have produced precise 3-D full morphology of long-projecting neurons in whole mouse brains and developed a collaborative workflow for highly accurate neuronal reconstruction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Mice
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Tomography, Optical
  • User-Computer Interface*
  • Video Recording
  • Virtual Reality*