Structure of the Afferent Terminals in Terminal Ganglion of a Cricket and Persistent Homology

Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 9:00am - 9:50am
Keller 3-180
Tomas Gedeon (Montana State University)
We use topological data analysis to investigate three dimensional spatial structure of the locus of afferent neuron terminals in cricket's Acheta domesticus terminal ganglion. Each afferent neuron innervates a filiform hair positioned on a cercus, a protruding appendage at the rear of the animal. The hairs transduce air motion to the neuron signal which is used by cricket to respond to the environment.
We stratify the hairs (and the corresponding afferent terminals) into classes depending on hair length, and a position. Our analysis uncovers significant structure in the relative position of these terminal classes, which suggests its functional relevance. Our method is well designed to handle significant experimental and developmental noise.
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