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Recent advances in high-resolution microscopy let neuroscientists acquire neural-tissue volume data of extremely large sizes. However, the tremendous resolution and the high complexity of neural structures present big challenges to storage, processing, and visualization at interactive rates. A proposed system provides interactive exploration of petascale (petavoxel) volumes resulting from high-throughput electron microscopy data streams. The system can concurrently handle multiple volumes and can support the simultaneous visualization of high-resolution voxel segmentation data. Its visualization-driven design restricts most computations to a small subset of the data. It employs a multiresolution virtual-memory architecture for better scalability than previous approaches and for handling incomplete data. Researchers have employed it for a 1-teravoxel mouse cortex volume, of which several hundred axons and dendrites as well as synapses have been segmented and labeled.
Date of Publication: July-Aug. 2013