ON THE PRECISION OF THE NUCLEATOR

Javier González-Villa, Marcos Cruz, Luis M. Cruz-Orive

Abstract


The nucleator is a design unbiased method of local stereology for estimating the volume of a bounded object. The only information required lies in the intersection of the object with an isotropic random ray emanating from a fixed point (called the pivotal point) associated with the object. For instance, the volume of a neuron can be estimated from a random ray emanating from its nucleolus. The nucleator is extensively used in biosciences because it is efficient and easy to apply. The estimator variance can be reduced by increasing the number of rays. In an earlier paper a systematic sampling design was proposed, and theoretical variance predictors were derived, for the corresponding volume estimator. Being the only variance predictors hitherto available for the nucleator, our basic goal was to check their statistical performance by means of Monte Carlo resampling on computer reconstructions of real objects. As a plus, the empirical distribution of the volume estimator revealed statistical properties of practical relevance.

Keywords
Monte Carlo resampling; nucleator; rat brain; stereology; variance prediction

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DOI: 10.5566/ias.1671

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Image Analysis & Stereology
EISSN 1854-5165 (Electronic version)
ISSN 1580-3139 (Printed version)