Neurobiology Challenges Spatial Statistics

The proper way to detect and quantify microcolumns is subject to controversial discussion, and even their existence is questioned. Previous investigations are typically based on two dimensional images of thin sections that fail to reflect fine vertical structures which do not run parallel to the section plane. With modern light microscopy equipment, it has become possible to register 3D coordinates of cells. Such data could help to clarify the hypotheses about existence or size of microcolumns. This requires the development of new, taylor made statistical methods for the analysis of inhomogeneous 3D spatial point processes. The analysis is hampered by the fact that data collection is extremely time consuming and therefore usually restricted to very narrow windows. A CSGB team consisting of members of the AAU and AU-bio groups has just started to tackle this challenge