The Brain 101 (E02)

Greetings! You’ve found the references for Episode 2: The Brain 101.

Images of interesting and odd neuron types: descriptions can be found below!

Image by Nor Kalisman (left): This is a pyramidal neuron. They are found in the cerebral cortex (consciousness), the hippocampus (memory), and the amygdala (emotions). Their primary function is excitation.

Image by Linda Van Aelst (middle): This is a chandelier neuron. The shape makes the name a bit obvious, but not so obvious is that these cells participate in transporting GABA (the inhibitory neurotransmitter). Their main function is currently considered to be the inhibition of pyramidal neurons.

Image by Kouichi Nakamura (right): This is a purkinje neuron. These neurons are GABAergic (producing GABA), and therefore also function as an inhibiting neuron. They are found in the cerebellum and make a whopping 100,000 to 200,000 dendritic connections (the image shows the dendrites spreading out so the number of connections makes sense). The axon is the tiny green line going downwards in the image away from the large cell body and dendrites.

Can you point out the dendrites, axon, and cell body in each of these images?

 

The two written references used for this episode are BrainFacts and Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain:

A PDF of BrainFacts can be found here. BrainFacts is an accessible resource of brainfacts.org, which is the brain child of The Kavli Foundation, Gatsby, and the Society for Neuroscience. The purpose of their content is to create a public information initiative about neuroscience and current research in the field. You can find an image of the week every week that will highlight brand new research publications as well as resources for specific diseases and disorders, and specific brain functions. Check it out!

Permission to use this source received 15 August, 2017.

To purchase or rent Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain, click here. This book is absolutely amazing. It approaches the complex science and study of the brain with a context often lacking in every science. The authors, Mark Bear, Barry Connors, and Michael Paradiso, explain the entire history of how humans have learned and studied the brain. Following their exploration into the past, they provide digestible information about what we know now and explain how we know it. We highly recommend this book for anyone interested in more information.