Anatomy of the Cortex: Statistics and Geometry by Prof. Dr. Valentino Braitenberg, Priv. Doz. Dr. Almut Schüz

By Prof. Dr. Valentino Braitenberg, Priv. Doz. Dr. Almut Schüz (auth.)

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Since it is known from Wolff (1976) that the synaptic density in the cortex varies with the distance from larger blood vessels, being minimal close to the veins, care was taken to select samples sufficiently far away from such vessels. For the purposes of our counts a synapse was defined pragmatically, without regard to the problems of interpretation which arise when the cytological details are related to their function. Lffi. Synapses were counted irrespective of their orientation in the section, including 32 Chapter 5 the ones cut tangentially, provided the above-mentioned conditions were met.

The size of the symbols indicates the upper and lower limits, obtained by two different stereological approaches. (Schiiz and Palm 1989) 28 Chapter 4 14 x 10 4 neurons 1 mm 3 0 12 • 10 0 8 D 6 • 0 0 mouse 1 I 4 mouse 2 (]mou se 3 2 area 8 6 17 Fig. t t. Density of neurons in the three areas, averaged over all layers. The density in the occipital region is almost twice as high as in the frontal region. Si ze of the symbols: meaning as in Figs. 9 and 10. (Schuz and Palm 1989) 14 x 10 4 neu r on s / mm 2 12 10 8 6 0 mouse 1 I mouse 2 0 mou se 3 4 2 a rea 8 6 17 Fig.

I. . .. ·". • : . . ~. : . 1-· ' : . ·. Density of Synapses 37 The comparison of the same region of the section in the two kinds of pictures (Fig. 18) shows that most of the light speckles in the dark field micrograph do indeed correspond to the location of synapses. Unfortunately, for reasons of wave optics, two or more synapses that lie too close together appear as one point in the dark field picture. For this reason this method cannot really be used for quantitative neuroanatomy. Fig.

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