Northeastern University

Neural Systems

The subject of neuroscience is truly multidisciplinary. It encompasses such disciplines as anatomy, physiology, molecular and cell biology, psychology, and, more recently, computer science and physics. The most interesting discoveries in neuroscience are made at the crossroads of these disciplines, and neuroscience research at its forefront is often driven by interdisciplinary collaborations. At CIRCS, the Stepanyant lab is developing the emerging science of neurogeometry, which focuses on understanding the structure of brain wiring by using a combination of data analysis and optimization principles rooted in statistical physics. Due to the complexity of neuron morphology, large datasets of reconstructed neurons must be generated with automated algorithms. The Stepanyants lab is developing algorithms and software tools to automate neuron reconstruction from confocal microscopy stacks of images, making it possible to extract quantitative information from a wide variety of neuron labeling and imaging techniques.