RobustCircuit is a collaborative project of 13 research teams pursuing eight neurobiological projects at five different institutions. The goal of the project is to understand common principles underlying the requirements of imprecise processes at lower scales (from molecules to cells) to yield robust outcomes at higher scales (from cells to behaviour) in neural circuit assembly. Live imaging is the principle means to obtain quantitative data on imprecise and robust processes at the levels of molecular, subcellular and cellular dynamics. Seven of the eight neurobiological projects utilise intravital and ex vivo live imaging to obtain statistically powerful data on imprecisions, including noise, in subcellular dynamics. Based on such quantitative data, image analysis allows one to assess the roles imprecisions play in creating robust systems.

The project is therefore designed to tackle the following challenge resulting from our collaborative project design: Molecular, subcellular and cellular dynamics should be of the same data type and quality to be quantitatively comparable between projects.  Solution is to provide a common and standardised approach to 4D live imaging acquisition and comparative tracking method adaptations and analyses.

In our part of the project, we develop tools that allow the fast, ideally automatic, analysis of image data produced in the neurobiological projects of RobustCircuit. This concerns 2-dimensional, 3-dimensional and 4-dimensional (3d + time) data. Our tools build the basis for further neurobiological analysis that support the overall goal of obtaining a deeper understanding about imprecise processes that lead to robust outcomes.