BioVis3D reconstruction software chosen by the XIV Latin American School of Neuroscience

BioVis3D reconstruction sample thumbnail Montevideo, April 6th 2009 - BioVis3D, has recently been used to reconstruct a 3D model of the fast electrosensory pathway of Gymnotus omari, a pulse type weakly electric fish from Uruguay. The reconstruction was carried out by the scientists of the Departamento de Neurociencias Integrativas y Computacionales of the IIBCE who are preparing an article on this topic (more information can be found at Gymnotus Carapo Poster (PDF).

This reasearch was the motive of a "hands on" seminar of the XIV Latin American School of Neuroscience in which students from Argentina, Spain and Uruguay took part.
This event took place at the "Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable" from March 16th to April 3rd.

The study

In order to study the fast electrosensory pathway of Gymnotus omari, a multidisciplinary approach was proposed, that allowed its analysis through different levels of integration, from structural and functional characteristics the neural components to the electromotor behavior. The anatomical characteristics of the fast electrosensory pathway components were studied using tract-tracing techniques and visualization with confocal microscopy.

The trajectory of the pathway within the brainstem was evidenced by computational 3D reconstruction. The functional properties of the electrosensory pathway were studied by means of "in vivo" field potential recordings to assess its responsiveness to self and conspecific electric organ discharges, and the electromotor behaviors displayed in response to interfering stimuli.

Within a few days, the students learned the procedures to apply neural tracers, fixate specimens by perfusion, dissect out the brain, obtain vibratome serial sections, digitalize them, and construct a 3D model using BioVis3D.

The three dimensional model provided a visual 3-D representation of the brainstem and the components of the pathway, allowing their visualization from different points of view, each of them exportable as 2D images and movies. This also proved to be a convenient way to communicate the results of the study during their final presentation.

During these training sessions, students were assisted by María E. Castelló, Pedro Aguilera and Angel A. Caputi from the Departamento de Neurociencias Integrativas y Computacionales, Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable, and Catherine Carr, from the Department of Biology, University of Maryland. Martín de los Heros and Nicolás Palombo represented BioVis3D during these sessions.

About the School of Neuroscience

School of Neuroscience logo thumbnail The Latin American School of Neuroscience was first organized in 1996 by the Uruguayan neuroscience researcher community. Together, the Biological Research Institute "Clemente Estable", the Medicine University and the Science University - UDELAR decided to develop this project for academic unification. This School is part of the Basic Science development program (Programa de desarrollo de Ciencias Básicas - PEDECIBA).

It has been a corner stone to the education of young scientists in Uruguay and it has been a model for other Schools of Neuroscience to the International Brain Organization (IBRO).

Since 2004 hosting country alternates between Chile and Uruguay. But participants form the US, Europe and the region participate on these activities every year.

The School offers an intensive activity schedule regarding two different aspects.
The first one involves postgraduate training sessions for young students. These sessions include both theoretical and experimental seminaries arranged in three modules, one week each.
The second one, consists of highly specialized scientific gatherings, symposiums and conferences given by local and foreign professors.

Some of the topics covered along the eleven editions of this School were: basic neurophysiology, development of the nervous system, sensorial neurophysiology, cognitive functions, neurochemistry, etc.

You can find more valuable information at the XIV Latin American School of Neuroscience page. (Spanish Only)