Beckers, M.; Palmer, C. M.; Sachse, C. Confidence maps: statistical inference of cryo-EM maps. Acta crystallographica. Section D, Structural biology, 2020, 76, 332-339
Confidence maps provide complementary information for interpreting cryo-EM densities as they indicate statistical significance with respect to background noise. They can be thresholded by specifying the expected false-discovery rate (FDR), and the displayed volume shows the parts of the map that have the corresponding level of significance. Here, the basic statistical concepts of confidence maps are reviewed and practical guidance is provided for their interpretation and usage inside the CCP-EM suite. Limitations of the approach are discussed and extensions towards other error criteria such as the family-wise error rate are presented. The observed map features can be rendered at a common isosurface threshold, which is particularly beneficial for the interpretation of weak and noisy densities. In the current article, a practical guide is provided to the recommended usage of confidence maps.