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Bild von Miriam Menzel

M.Sc. Miriam Menzel

PhD student at the INM-1, team Fiber Architecture
Academic degree: M.Sc. in Physics, RWTH Aachen

Area of Research

Development of analytical methods and numerical simulations for the reconstruction of nerve fibers in the brain by 3D Polarized Light Imaging (3D-PLI).

3D-PLI reconstructs the three-dimensional pathways of nerve fibers in postmortem brains with micrometer resolution: By transmitting polarized light through histological brain sections in a polarimeter, the birefringence of the nerve fibers is measured and the underlying fiber orientations are determined. To better understand how the derived fiber orientations are related to the fiber structure of the measured brain tissue and to improve the accuracy of the reconstructed fiber orientations, analytical methods and numerical simulations are developed.

Methodical Key Aspects

  • Theoretical optics and polarimetry
  • Computational electrodynamics
  • Finite-Difference Time-Domain simulations
  • High Performance Computing

Selected Publications

  • Menzel, M.; Reckfort, J.; Weigand, D.; Köse, H.; Amunts, K.; Axer, M. Diattenuation of brain tissue and its impact on 3D polarized light imaging. Biomedical Optics Express 8 (2017) 7, 3163 – 3197.
  • Costantini, I.; Menzel, M.; Silvestri, L.; Schubert, N.; Axer, M.; Amunts, K.; Pavone, F.S. Polarized Light Imaging and Two-Photon Fluorescence Microscopy correlative approach for 3D reconstruction of the orientation of myelinated fibers. In: Optics in the Life Sciences Congress , OSA Technical Digest (online) (Optical Society of America, 2017), paper BrW4B.5.
  • Menzel, M.; Axer, M.; De Raedt, H.; Michielsen, K. Finite-Difference Time-Domain Simulation for Three-dimensional Polarized Light Imaging. In: Amunts K., Grandinetti L., Lippert T., Petkov N. (eds) Brain-Inspired Computing. BrainComp 2015. Springer, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 10087, Chapter 6 (2016).
  • Menzel, M.; Michielsen, K.; De Raedt, H.; Reckfort, J.; Amunts, K.; Axer, M. A Jones matrix formalism for simulating three-dimensional polarized light imaging of brain tissue. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 12 (2015), 20150734.
  • Dohmen, M.; Menzel, M.; Wiese, H.; Reckfort, J.; Hanke, F.; Pietrzyk, U.; Zilles, K.; Amunts, K.; Axer, M. Understanding fiber mixture by simulation in 3D Polarized Light Imaging. NeuroImage 111 (2015), 464 – 475.


Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1)
Forschungszentrum Jülich
52425 Jülich


Phone: +49 2461 61-96359
Fax: +49 2461 61-3483