Two papers in Cerebral Cortex

December 18, 2015

Christiaan de Kock, Huib Mansvelder and collaborators publish two papers in Cerebral Cortex on the organizational principles of cortex in rat and human.

#1: Cerebral Cortex, Nov 2015 (incl. cover)
This paper focuses on the in vivo structure of rat primary somatosensory cortex and provides unprecedented insight on how the 10 major types of excitatory neurons are interconnected within and across the elementary functional units of the sensory cortex – cortical columns. We show that in contrast to the decade-long focus on describing vertical neuronal pathways within a cortical column, the majority of the cortical circuitry interconnects neurons across cortical columns through horizontal pathways.

Narayanan et al, 2015:

Christiaan de Kock, Huib Mansvelder, Marcel Oberlaender, Bert Sakmann

#2: Cerebral Cortex, Dec 2015

This paper focuses on the dendritic and axonal architecture of neurons in human temporal cortex, which became possible due to a collaboration with neurosurgeon Dr. Hans Baaijen from the VUmc.

Living human brain tissue obtained during resection surgeries was quickly transported to the lab of Huib Mansvelder where his team dye-loaded individual neurons. The team of Christiaan de Kock subsequently performed histology and state-of-the-art 3D reconstruction for quantitative analysis of morphology.

We present the first quantitative sample of full morphologies from human cortex  worldwide and show that dendrites of human neurons are 3 times larger compared to mouse and monkey and follow human-specific branching patterns. Thus, human neurons are not “scaled-up” versions
of rodent or macaque neurons.

These studies will help to uncover generalizable, and thus fundamental aspects of brain circuitry and organization across brain areas and species.

Mohan*, Verhoog* et al, 2015