Date Added: Jan 2010
An optical flow gradient algorithm was applied to spontaneously forming networks of neurons and glia in culture imaged by fluorescence optical microscopy in order to map functional calcium signaling with single pixel resolution. Optical flow estimates the direction and speed of motion of objects in an image between subsequent frames in a recorded digital sequence of images (i.e. a movie). Computed vector field outputs by the algorithm were able to track the spatiotemporal dynamics of calcium signaling patterns. The authors begin by briefly reviewing the mathematics of the optical flow algorithm, and then describe how to solve for the displacement vectors and how to measure their reliability.