Dendritic architecture of the von Economo neurons

  title={Dendritic architecture of the von Economo neurons},
  author={Karli K. Watson and Tiffanie K Jones and John Allman},
Von Economo Neurons – Primate-Specific or Commonplace in the Mammalian Brain?
It is demonstrated that human VENs are specialized elongated principal cells with unique somato-dendritic morphology found abundantly in the FI and ACC of the human brain.
Biochemical specificity of von economo neurons in hominoids
This distributed distribution of Von Economo neurons suggests that VENs contribute to specializations of neural circuits in species that share both large brain size and complex social cognition, possibly representing an adaptation to rapidly relay socially‐relevant information over long distances across the brain.
Somato‐dendritic morphology and axon origin site specify von Economo neurons as a subclass of modified pyramidal neurons in the human anterior cingulate cortex
The data show that the numerous recent reports on the presence of VENs in non‐primates in other layers and regions of the cortex need further confirmation by showing the dendritic and axonal morphology of these cells, and that oval and fusiform neurons could be misidentified as V ENs.
Dendritic and Spine Heterogeneity of von Economo Neurons in the Human Cingulate Cortex
The heterogeneity of the dendritic architecture and spines suggests additional functional implications for the synaptic and information processing in VENs in integrated networks of normal and, possibly, neurological/psychiatric conditions involving the human CC.
Von Economo neurons: A review of the anatomy and functions
Some researchers have shown that selective destruction of VENs in the early stages of frontotemporal dementia implies that they are involved in empathy, social awareness, and self-control which are consistent with evidence from functional imaging.
Von Economo Neurons in the Human Medial Frontopolar Cortex
The von Economo neurons (VENs) are found in the human medial BA10, although they are very scarce and dispersed, and it is found that VENs are at least seven times more abundant on the right hemisphere and at least 2.5 timesMore abundant in the crest than in the walls of the gyrus.
Von Economo Neurons in the Elephant Brain
The VEN morphology appears to have arisen independently in hominids, cetaceans, and elephants, and may reflect a specialization for the rapid transmission of crucial social information in very large brains.
Von Economo neurons: Cellular specialization of human limbic cortices?
It is proposed that the restriction of VENs towards the sectors linked to limbic information processing in Homo sapiens gives them a possible functional role in relation to the structures in which they are located.


A neuronal morphologic type unique to humans and great apes.
The existence and distribution of an unusual type of projection neuron, a large, spindle-shaped cell, in layer Vb of the anterior cingulate cortex of pongids and hominids is reported, which suggests some of the differential neuronal susceptibility that occurs in the human brain in the course of age-related dementing illnesses may have appeared only recently during primate evolution.
Spindle neurons of the human anterior cingul. Ate cortex
Observations indicate that the spindle cells of the human cingulate cortex represent a morphological subpopulation of pyramidal neurons whose restricted distribution may be associated with functionally distinct areas.
Computational subunits in thin dendrites of pyramidal cells
This work combined confocal imaging and dual-site focal synaptic stimulation of identified thin dendrites in rat neocortical pyramidal neurons found that nearby inputs on the same branch summed sigmoidally, whereas widely separated inputs or inputs to different branches summed linearly.
Evolution of Specialized Pyramidal Neurons in Primate Visual and Motor Cortex
Results show that Betz somata become proportionally larger with increases in body weight, brain weight, and encephalization whereas Meynert somata remain a constant proportion larger than other visual pyramidal cells.
Vertical bias in dendritic trees of non-pyramidal neocortical neurons expressing GAD67-GFP in vitro.
It is concluded that GABAergic neurons make an important contribution to the vertical neocortical neuropil, and are likely to integrate synaptic inputs from axons terminating within their own module.
Pyramidal Cells, Patches, and Cortical Columns: a Comparative Study of Infragranular Neurons in TEO, TE, and the Superior Temporal Polysensory Area of the Macaque Monkey
The results parallel morphological variation seen in layer III pyramidal neurons, suggesting that increasing complexity of basal dendritic arbors of cells, with progression through higher areas of the temporal lobe, is a general organizational principle.
Retinal ganglion cells: a functional interpretation of dendritic morphology.
  • C. Koch, T. Poggio, V. Torre
  • Biology
    Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences
  • 1982
The quantitative analysis of the morphology of cat retinal ganglion cells leads to the following specific conclusions: None of the cells examined satisfies Rall's equivalent cylinder condition, which means that these neurons need not be equipotential despite their small dimensions.
The minicolumn hypothesis in neuroscience.
The minicolumn is a sophisticated local network that contains within it the elements for redundancy and plasticity and is a distinctive form of module that has evolved specifically in the neocortex.
Influence of dendritic structure on firing pattern in model neocortical neurons
The data indicate that En-1 is required for delineating the ventral AER boundary and for restricting expression of signalling molecules, such as Fgf-8 and Bmp-2, to the distalmost ectoderm, a function reminiscent of engrailed's role in compartment border formation in D r o s ~ p h i l a ~~ ~ ~ .
The columnar organization of the neocortex.
The modular organization of nervous systems is a widely documented principle of design for both vertebrate and invertebrate brains of which the columnar organization of the neocortex is an example.