NeuroZoom software: Development, validation, and neurobiological applications

E. A. Nimchinsky, P. R. Hof, W. G. Young, F. E. Bloom, John Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Recent developments in unbiased quantitative techniques have had a dramatic impact on the way neuroanatomic data are quantified and have created a demand for computerized techniques that can simplify the acquisition, analysis and organization of these data. In order to address this need, we have developed NeuroZoom, a software package with full scale mapping capacities, 3D cell reconstruction, a stereology package (below) as well as database and atlas development capabilities. At present NeuroZoom has the following stereologic tools: Optical disector and Optical fractionator for particle counts, surface area calculation, and volume estimation using the Cavalieri principle as well as the Rotator and Nucleator. Cell reconstructions can be analyzed graphically by 3D rendering, as well as quantitatively by analysis of dendrograms to describe changes in restricted portions of the dendritic arbor. All tools are designed to be used in conjunction with a light microscope equipped with a motorized stage, but they can be applied to imported images including electron micrographs and confocal images, as well as any scanned photograph of known scale. This software package has been used for the assessment of neuronal loss in visual pathways in a monkey model of glaucoma, studies of brain aging in macaque monkeys, and analyses of vulnerable spinal cord neurons in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 20 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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