Acquiring Big Data from Brain
Imaging Brain Activity
With genetic modification, the neurons can be modified to emit fluorescent light as a function of the brain activity (i.e., the neurons "blink" as they fire) which literally makes the brain activity visible. The main challenge is to record the optical signals at a high throughput and we develop and apply optical imaging techniques to tackle this.
Performance of imaging system is limited by many factors including the laws of physics, biological constraints, information theory and sampling theorem. We develop computational imaging methods that overcomes such limitation by predicting extensive information from the limited data by exploiting the prior knowledge of the distribution of the data.
With fluorescence microscopy, only up to five proteins can be simultaneously imaged due to the wide emission spectra of fluorescent molecules. To image large number of proteins beyond this limit, we use spectrally overlapping fluorescent molecules to image large number of proteins and use signal processing algorithms to unmix images.