Brain Science and Computer Vision

Everyone talks about like the brain like its a computer. Well, in some ways its similar. There are nerve cells that act like “wires” and run from one part of the brain to another. With the advent of a new kind of medical imaging technology called “Diffusion Weighted MRI” (DW-MRI), it is possible to find these wires using computer vision. Many people claim that it is important to find whole bundles of these wires in addition to the individual wires.

Recently, I’ve been working on a way to do this using partial differential equations (PDEs). Below you can see some of the results. First, thin white tubes are shown. These represent a single “wires” called fibers. From these single fibers, we determine the boundary of the whole bundle. We then show this as thick yellow tubes.

By studying the shape and size of these bundles, doctors may be able to detect mental illness early and improve the understanding of the brain! Hopefully I can help by making these pretty pictures : )