Von Economo Neurons in the Elephant Brain

@article{Hakeem2009VonEN,
  title={Von Economo Neurons in the Elephant Brain},
  author={Atiya Y. Hakeem and Chet C. Sherwood and Christopher J. Bonar and Camilla Butti and Patrick R. Hof and John Allman},
  journal={The Anatomical Record: Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology},
  year={2009},
  volume={292}
}
  • A. Hakeem, C. Sherwood, J. Allman
  • Published 1 February 2009
  • Biology
  • The Anatomical Record: Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology
Von Economo neurons (VENs), previously found in humans, all of the great ape species, and four cetacean species, are also present in African and Indian elephants. The VENs in the elephant are primarily found in similar locations to those in the other species. They are most abundant in the frontoinsular cortex (area FI) and are also present at lower density in the anterior cingulate cortex. Additionally, they are found in a dorsolateral prefrontal area and less abundantly in the region of the… 
The von economo neurons in apes and humans
TLDR
The von Economo neurons (VENs) are large bipolar neurons located in frontoinsular (FI) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in great apes and humans but not other primates and found them to be more numerous in humans than in apes.
Biochemical specificity of von economo neurons in hominoids
TLDR
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.
The von Economo neurons in the frontoinsular and anterior cingulate cortex
TLDR
Selective destruction of VENs in early stages of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) implies that they are involved in empathy, social awareness, and self‐control, consistent with evidence from functional imaging.
Von Economo neurons: A review of the anatomy and functions
TLDR
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.
The von Economo neurons in frontoinsular and anterior cingulate cortex in great apes and humans
TLDR
The von Economo neurons (VENs) are large bipolar neurons located in frontoinsular (FI) and anterior cingulate cortex in great apes and humans, but not other primates and the protein encoded by the gene DISC1 is preferentially expressed by the VENs.
Evolutionary appearance of von Economo’s neurons in the mammalian cerebral cortex
TLDR
Venvon Economo’s neurons (VENs) are large, spindle-shaped projection neurons in layer V of the frontoinsular (FI) cortex, and the anterior cingulate cortex that are selectively affected in a behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia, thus associating VENs with the social brain.
An analysis of von Economo neurons in the cerebral cortex of cetaceans, artiodactyls, and perissodactyls
TLDR
The present results demonstrated that VENs were not restricted to highly encephalized or socially complex species, and their repeated emergence among distantly related species seems to represent convergent evolution of specialized pyramidal neurons.
Von Economo neurons: Cellular specialization of human limbic cortices?
TLDR
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.
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