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  • Poster presentation
  • Open Access

The tree-edit-distance, a measure for quantifying neuronal morphology

BMC Neuroscience200910 (Suppl 1) :P89

  • Published:


  • Animal Model
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Computer Science
  • Neuronal Cell
  • Theoretical Computer

The shape of neuronal cells strongly resembles botanical trees or roots of plants. To analyze and compare these complex three-dimensional structures it is important to develop suitable methods. We review the so-called tree-edit-distance known from theoretical computer science and use this distance to define dissimilarity measures for neuronal cells. This measure intrinsically respects the tree-shape. It compares only those parts of two dendritic trees that have similar position in the whole tree. Therefore it can be interpreted as a generalization of methods using vector-valued measures. Moreover, we show that our new measure, together with cluster analysis, is a suitable method for analyzing three-dimensional shape of hippocampal and cortical cells.

Authors’ Affiliations

SAM, ETH-Zürich, Switzerland
G-CSC, Goethe-University Frankfurt, Kettenhofweg 139, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany


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© Heumann and Wittum; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.