Topological explorations of neuron morphology
Kathryn Hess-Bellwald (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL))
To understand the function of neurons, as well as other types of cells in the brain, it is essential to analyze their shape. Perhaps unsurprisingly, topology provides us with tools ideally suited to performing such an analysis. In this talk I will present a selection of the results of a long-standing collaboration with Lida Kanari of the Blue Brain Project on applying topology to the study of neuron shape and function, emphasizing that even simple topogical tools can prove remarkably powerful for analyzing biological data. I will also illustrate how work on applications can feed back into the development of new mathematical ideas.