Trygve B. Leergaard
Speaker of Workshop 1
Will talk about: Navigating the rodent brain by digital atlasing
Leergaard obtained an M.D at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands, and a Ph.D. degree in neuroanatomy at the University of Oslo. Employing combinations of histological methodologies, computational 3D reconstructions, and image analysis, Leergaard has elucidated fundamental architectonical principles underlying brain map transformations in major cortico-subcortical sensorimotor projection systems, and used multidisciplinary approaches to characterize genetic models of neurodegenerative brain disease. In collaboration with Jan G. Bjaalie, Leergaard has contributed to the development of digital brain atlases and neuroinformatics infrastructure for efficient data mining, storage and dissemination of neuroscience data. Leergaard will here discuss recent efforts for navigating and integrating diverse experimental data by use of digital atlasing techniques.
Accurate assignment of anatomical location to rat and mouse brain image data is essential for interpretation and comparison of experimental measurements. Rodent brain atlases therefore rank among the most cited neuroscience publications. New generation open-access atlases now provide volumetric reference templates based on high-resolution MRI data, and recent studies have shown that anatomical regions and subregions to a large extent can be defined on the basis of MRI contrast. Volumetric atlas templates will allow researchers to efficiently accumulate, analyze, compare, and reuse experimental data. But before these promising resources can fulfil their potential, efficient tools and procedures for data registration are needed, and important concerns regarding anatomical precision must be considered. I will here review recent developments in the field of digital atlasing and discuss some challenges ahead.